Thursday, 10 February 2005 02:00

Nuts and bolts of the property boom

You don't necessarily need to own bricks and mortar to take part in the property boom.

Tuesday, 18 January 2005 02:00

Firm December sales ahead of PPC forecast

Domestic cement sales grew ahead of expectation in the December quarter, despite signs of strain in the building sector, SA's largest cement producer

Monday, 13 December 2004 02:00

Building industry confidence at 96%

Stellenbosch Bureau for Economic Research (BER) says building industry confidence is at levels last seen in the economic upswing of 1978 to 1981

CEMENT producers have been caught off-guard by rapid growth in demand over the past year and SA may face a shortage of cement by 2007.

Monday, 30 August 2004 02:00

Brick sales best in 20 years

Property boom driving demand for materials

Thursday, 06 November 2003 02:00

Great year for Pretoria Portland Cement

Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) reported a 38% jump in headline earnings per share to 1154 cents for the year ended September 30 from 838.3 cents a year ago

Pretoria - The Competition Commission would look into price increases by cement makers, due to come into effect next year, if concerns were expressed about them, it said at the weekend. 


Construction IndustryThe commission's comments follow complaints by some buyers that the three biggest cement producers in the country - PPC, Alpha and Lafarge - had notified them of price increases above 20 percent from next year.

Peter Lord, the owner and chairman of concrete product manufacturers Echo Floor, Echo Prestress and Fastfloor, said: 'I don't know how they can justify it. PPC has just announced a 45 percent increase in attributable profit.

'What is a surprise is that the cement cartel was abolished in 1996 but cement manufacturers seem to be acting in concert.

'They're all talking about the same increase, which seems remarkable, and all have come up with the same reasons at exactly the same time. I understood that was anti-competitive.'

Peter Nelson, PPC's financial director, described suggestions that its cement prices would increase by more than 20 percent next year as nonsense.

'Normally, we have two price rises in a year and take into account cost inputs and what is happening in the market. It has been a responsible approach and our price increases have been around the producer price index and inflation mark.

'Obviously the currency has also impacted on the cost of fuel and imported consumables.'

Geoff Parr, the chief economist at the Competition Commission, said the commission normally responded to a complaint submitted to it by somebody affected by price rises or collusion.

But provisions of the Competition Act with regard to restrictive practices allowed the commission to initiate a complaint.

'If there is concern, we will look into it. It's too early to tell if price increases are excessive and we aren't aware that they will all be implemented simultaneously and of any collusion.'

Parr added that it had been reported that many of the cement manufacturers' customers were on long-term contracts and increases of 20 percent to 30 percent were 'not so bad if prices were set many years ago'.

Friday, 01 November 2002 02:00

Cement price hikes 'hurt building sector'.

Members of the building industry are reeling from the shock of a proposed 20% hike in the price of cement. This follows a double digit price rise in the past year.

Construction IndustryThe proposed price rise is likely to lead to a substantial increase in building costs. Stellenbosch University's Bureau for Economic Research (BER) warned yesterday that, together with higher interest rates, a weighty rise in the price of cement would contribute to building work being less affordable and would lead to a slowdown in demand.

Ultimately, this will have a negative effect on the economy.

Cement producers PPC, Alpha and Lafarge would not comment on what their price hikes would be yesterday. However, a number of concrete product manufacturers have said that PPC, for one, had indicated a 20% price rise in January.

The rise would not be applicable to all clients, because prices vary between clients and cement product types, but double-digit rises were expected all round.

The BER's Charles Martin said cement sales were on the rise for the first time in years, and that now would be considered an ideal time for cement producers to introduce substantial price hikes.

PPC and Alpha said their price hikes were based mainly on increases in their input costs, which were affected by the depreciation of the rand. Capital equipment and spares, for instance, were sourced mostly from the US and Europe.

PPC also fingered Spoornet's prices and inefficiency as contributing factors to rising cement prices. Colin Jones of PPC said problems with rail availability had forced the cement producer to switch to more expensive road transport in some instances.

PPC and Alpha said price shifts were not based on attempts to come in line with international pricing or to move towards import parity pricing.

Lafarge declined to comment on price strategy issues.

The cement buyers said the reasons given for the increases were reasonable, but 20% was beyond what could be justified.

Several cement buyers have also accused producers of continuing to operate in a cartellike fashion. PPC, Alpha and Blue Circle operated as a cartel until 1996, when it was officially disbanded. A price war ensued in an attempt by the producers to secure market share.

 

Wednesday, 20 June 2001 03:01

Focus shifts to smaller building projects

AFTER a year in which the GrandWest Casino and Canal Walk projects, coupled with work associated with those projects, saw the big contractors kept pretty busy.

Page 4 of 4

Most Popular

Attacq sees success with high-rise development The Mix

Sep 22, 2021
Giles_Pendleton_Attacq
Waterfall’s latest high-rise residential development, The Mix Waterfall, is approaching…

When can I cancel an Offer to Purchase?

Sep 22, 2021
News_from_Rawson_Property_Group
There’s nothing more exciting (or nerve-wracking) than submitting an Offer to Purchase on…

Serviced office space provider The Business Exchange opens in Cape Town

Sep 21, 2021
TBE_Cape_Town2
Serviced office space provider The Business Exchange (TBE) has extended operations and is…

Interest rates still on hold but scales start tipping towards a hike

Sep 23, 2021
Carmen_Nel_Matrix_Fund_Managers
The SARB Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 3.5%…

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.