Cement producer, Cimerwa Plc has reported Rwf 1.0 billion Profit after Tax in the first half of the year with a revenue of Rwf 30 billion, a 14 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The firm’s financial year ends in September. The firm also recorded a Rwf 1.02 billion decrease in cost of sales which they said was buoyed by efficiencies in plant operations and prudent cost-saving measures. John Bugunya the Chief Finance Officer of Cimerwa said that their position in the first half of the year was indicative of what our financials will look like at the end of 2021. “Despite the effects of the lockdown that went into effect during the first quarter of this year, we were able to record strong revenue and profit and maintain a healthy cash balance of Rwf 8.7 billion. This speaks volumes on our resilience in the face of difficulties and challenges,” Bugunya said. Albert Sigei, the Chief Executive said that the domestic market continues to show a good growth trajectory driven by infrastructure investments across the country while the export market also grew during the period. “Amidst this wave of growth, our market position remains strong and steady and we are gearing up to make it even more robust. The noticeable increase in our inventories is a deliberate and strategic move to ensure that we are ready and able to supply the market with cement as we continue to support the government’s infrastructure development agenda as a proud ‘made in Rwanda’ company,” Sigei said. At the moment, the annual demand of cement is estimated at over 1.2M tonnes annually. There are two cement plants operational in the country with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes each but not operational at full capacity. This has left a supply gap necessitating imports. Cimerwa now has local competition from Prime Cement Ltd, a new player in the market, with a $40-million factory in Musanze District in the Northern Province. The cement plant is owned by Milbridge Holding, a group of companies involved in manufacturing and distribution of construction materials in Angola, the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda and South Africa. It was designed with an annual production capacity of 600,000 tonnes with a target of ramping up to 1.2 million in the next two years.