Lafarge Africa's share price hits eight-year low

The company swung to a loss in Q2, also announcing plans for a share issue to reduce debt.

According to CFO Bruno Bayet, after reporting a post-tax loss of 1.9 billion naira ($6.22 million), against a 14.6 billion naira profit in the same period last year, the company will issue 90 billion naira in shares to existing shareholders by the end of the year. Shares in Lafarge Africa, a unit of Franco-Swiss group LafargeHolcim, fell 10 percent – their lowest level since March 2010.

Speaking to Reuters, Bayet said:

“Nigeria continues to have strong growth. If we compare with Q2 last year the market grew by 22 percent. The reason for the loss is mainly from South Africa.”

Bayet said the latest share sale will go towards repaying $20 million of a $350 million loan advanced by LafargeHolcim. The CFO also said he expects South African operations to improve in the second half of the year.