PPC announces new CEO after delaying results at the 11th hour

A PPC lime plant. Picture: SUPPLIED
A PPC lime plant. Picture: SUPPLIED

Cement maker PPC, which delayed its annual results presentation 20 minutes before it was meant to take place on Wednesday, says it has appointed Dutch-national Roland van Wijnen as its next CEO “following a global search”.

The search for a CEO to succeed Johan Claassen began in November when he announced he was taking early retirement.

Van Wijnen’s “listed company experience and exposure to international global best practice will broaden the management practices of PPC”, said chair Jabu Moleketi. “He is an ideal appointment as he already has a detailed knowledge of the cement sector. He is up-to-speed with our strategic imperatives and will advance the process without any delays.” 

Van Wijnen has spent 17 years at LafargeHolcim, where he was CEO of the listed Philippines business, which is similar in size to PPC, the company said. He was previously CEO of certain of Holcim’s Eastern European businesses between 2005 and 2010, and acted as CEO of Holcim’s global trading business before the Lafarge-Holcim merger.

“PPC is currently undergoing strategic projects to ensure the long-term sustainability and viability of the group, and I have been working on similar initiatives for the past decade,” van Wijnen said.

He has signed a four-year contract and is expected to take over from Claassen “as soon as he has received a work permit”, PPC said.

PPC also said the board would work with van Wijnen “to fast-track and implement the company’s succession policy and strategy” during his tenure.

Meanwhile, just 20 minutes before it was scheduled to present its numbers to shareholders, PPC postponed the publication of its annual results from Wednesday to Friday, citing accounting considerations in Zimbabwe.

The release of financial statements for the year to end-March was delayed “to allow for the completion of the review by the company’s auditors”, PPC said on Wednesday.

“This delay is due to considerations relating to fair value adjustments of Zimbabwean financial assets” that probably range between zero and R50m.

“Accordingly, the annual results announcement and the presentation scheduled for [Wednesday] at 12pm [at the JSE in Sandton] have been delayed until Friday 28 June 2019,” it said at 11.40am on Wednesday.

The company said last week that group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were expected to increase by between 0% and 7% from the R1.9bn reported in the prior year.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) would increase by between 33% and 53% and gross debt levels had been reduced.

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