Losses recorded by Lafarge Holcim’s operations in places like Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt could be responsible for the constant reshuffling of the company’s top managers.
The company hinted at this yesterday (July 4th) in Zurich when its Chief Executive Officer, Jan Jenisch, announced the appointment of Miljan Gutovic as the new manager in charge of Africa and the Middle East.
The cement maker’s announcement on Wednesday about Gutovic’s appointment followed a trend in recent times whereby new executives have been brought in to try and rejuvenate the company’s declining profits.
Information available on the company’s website, has it that Gutovic’s appointment takes effect as of July, 2018. He is taking over from Saad Sebba, who prior to deciding to “pursue opportunities outside of the company”, was the Head of Region, Middle East and Africa as well as a Member of Lafarge Holcim’s Executive Committee.
“Miljan is a very experienced and entrepreneurial manager to lead our business in the Region, Middle East and Africa. In his previous roles, he has developed and executed successful growth strategies and brings an in-depth experience of the region.” – Jenisch
The company’s dwindling performance in Nigeria and elsewhere
As noted above, Lafarge Holcim has faced immense challenges in recent times, including declining revenues and operating profits in Africa (Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt) as well as Iraq. In Nigeria for instance, the company ran at a loss in full year 2017, having reported a loss after tax of ₦34.3 billion.
The company, however, showed considerable improvement performance in Q1 2018, having reported a profit after tax of ₦1.5 billion.
Note that Lafarge Africa has over the years faced stiff competition posed by Dangote Cement Plc, and this is reflected in their earnings. Take for instance, while Dangote Cement generated as much as ₦805 billion in revenue last year, Lafarge Africa Plc only generated ₦299 billion. Dangote Cement also made a profit after tax of ₦204 billion in 2017 compared to ₦34.3 billion made by Lafarge.
About Miljan Gutovic
Born 1979 in Australia, Miljan Gutovic has over a decade of professional experience in building materials manufacturing and merchandise. He joined Lafarge Holcim not too long a go as Head of Marketing and Innovation, and has also had “a successful track record as an Area Manager for the Middle East as well as General Manager for Australia.” He has also successfully developed and implemented several products and commercial solutions.
Mr Gutovic graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology in Sydney. He also holds a Doctorate degree in the same field from the same university.
Lafarge Holcim is a global leader in the cement manufacturing and merchandising industry, with operations in different countries including Nigeria. It is the parent company of Lafarge Africa Plc whose stocks traded at ₦37.15 during today’s NSE trading session.