SUNBIZ

Big record growth for Pacific Cement

Pacific Cement Limited recorded a growth of 11 per cent for its cement sales for the financial year ended June 30, 2014. The Fijian Holdings Limited Group subsidiary, which was
12 Aug 2014 14:42

Pacific Cement Limited recorded a growth of 11 per cent for its cement sales for the financial year ended June 30, 2014. The Fijian Holdings Limited Group subsidiary, which was recently rebranded from Fiji Industries to Pacific Cement, sold 140,952 tonnes of cement compared to 126,000 the previous year.

This is believed to be one of the highest sales for the company so far with the exception of 2006 when close to 150,000 tonnes of cement was sold.

Fijian Holdings Group chief executive, Nouzab Fareed, said they had not expected this.

“The growth in the local building and construction industry continues to remain positive,” noted said.
He said this was based on the level of government and private sector projects that are either currently work in progress or expected to commence soon.

“The same goes for the export markets whereby aid funding from various donors agencies continues to generate a lot of activity in the building and construction sectors for the various Pacific Island markets,” he said.

Export markets
Mr Fareed said their biggest export market was Vanuatu and the reason was the ‘Home Brand cement’ concept.
“In Vanuatu, we sell the customer’s brand bag,” he said.

“So similarly, we are going to do that in Fiji also. The bag will be theirs but inside will be our cement.”

Mr Fareed further said although the Kiribati market was very small, it had done very well.

New markets
In terms of new market, Mr Fareed said they are looking at Northern Pacific as he feels they have not really tapped into that.

“Our real big challenge will be shipping but I still feel there are a lot of opportunities there,” he said.

Taking the New Zealand market as an example, Mr Fareed said they were told by people not to enter the New Zealand market, yet they went ahead.

“Our first container took months to sell in New Zealand and now we can sell more than one container every month,” he said.

“New Zealand is therefore very steadily growing – but nevertheless, there are a lot of opportunities.

“Reason being, the biggest cement company in New Zealand, they are closing down in New Zealand.

“There was a big cement plant to be made there but this company has stopped it. So now New Zealand is thinking of importing cement.

“So there is a big opportunity there and our focus in the next two to three years is going to be New Zealand.”
Pacific Cement will also be working on Brisbane and Melbourne, however, the export rules are expected to be their biggest challenge.

“I am 100 per cent confident that within the next 12 months, we will be sending cement at least container-by-container to Brisbane and Melbourne. If we can catch those markets, then sky is the limit.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj




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