a year ago

Lafarge suspends aggregate output as per court order

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LafargeHolcim Bangladesh has suspended production of its aggregates following a court order staying the previous judgment by a High Court (HC) division.

In a filing with the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the company said industries ministry filed a civil misc case (CMP) with the chamber judge against the verdict.

The HC division of the Supreme Court passed the judgment on January 05.

The judge-in-chamber also forwarded the CMP for hearing before the full bench of the appellate division.

Accordingly, the aggregate operations of the company will remain closed until January 24 with immediate effect, says LafargeHolcim.

The company resumed production and sales of aggregates after getting a verdict in its favour on January 05.

Earlier on September 16, the ministry directed the company to stop aggregate business by issuing a letter.

It filed a writ petition, challenging the ministry's instruction. On October 11, the HC issued a rule.

On January 05, the division bench of the court delivered judgment making the rule absolute.

Aggregate is a broad category of coarse particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete and geo-synthetic aggregate.

LafargeHolcim has set up the crushing unit with ancillary equipment on the premises of its existing integrated clinker and cement manufacturing plant in Chhatak, Sunamganj.

With an investment of Tk 401 million, the facility has the capacity to produce 1.2-million tonnes of clear-sized graded aggregate per annum.

The annual demand for clear-sized aggregate is an estimated 15-million tonnes.

Bangladesh relies on imports from countries like India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Oman and the UAE for supply.

Following the news, the price of LafargeHolcim shares fell by 0.88 per cent to close at Tk 78.90 each on Wednesday.

Its shares have traded between Tk 43.80 and Tk 107.50 in the last one year.

The company has reported consolidated earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 0.81 for July-September 2021 as against Tk 0.56 for July-September 2020.

In nine months during January-September 2021, its consolidated EPS was Tk 2.66 as against Tk 1.29 during the January-September period in 2020.

The company also informed that EPS increased compared to the previous period mainly due to increased cement sales and new aggregate business.

LafargeHolcim has been providing 10-per cent cash dividend each for the past six years-2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Its paid-up capital is Tk 11.61 billion and authorised capital Tk 14 billion while the total number of securities is 1.16 billion.

DSE data shows sponsor-directors own 64.68 stakes in the company and institutional investors 15.91 per cent, foreign investors 0.69 per cent and the general public 18.72 per cent as of 31 December 2021.

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