Bestway Cement strengthened by sustainable dividend income from strategic investment in UBL

September 15, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan Credit Rating Agency has maintained the entity ratings of Bestway Cement Limited at ‘AA-’ for long-term and ‘A1+’ for short-term, along with a stable outlook forecast.

According to PACRA’s press release, Bestway Cement’s ratings reflect its leading position in the market emanating from its highest market share in north region. The Company's brown field expansion and successful mergers in the past assisted to maintain its position.

Due to pandemic corona virus economic activities has slow down thus resulted in the drop of local demand, export is another avenue. Due to excess capacity from recent industry expansion resulted in depressed cement prices (especially in north region). Industry wide exports have gone up.

During 9MFY20 the profitability of the company took a significant dip where margins deteriorated attributable to depressed prevailing cement prices along with muted local demand has affected the company's sales volume due to the aforementioned industry dynamics. Overall industry wide local dispatches increased significantly in July-20 as the government has taken steps towards public sector development projects and this will further improved in future as new projects are coming.

The Company’s ratings are strengthened by the sustainable dividend income from its strategic investment in United Bank Limited (UBL) in which company is holding 7.65%. The company’s financial risk is categorized by efficient working capital management in terms of both cashflows and short-term borrowing.

The company is re-profiling its debt book by converting short term debt into long term debt which will not impact the leveraging ratio and have positive impacts on current ratio. The chance of recovery in near future depends on agreement on cement prices, energy prices (not expected to increase), and key policy rate that is expected inch down. These will give breathing space to sector.

The ratings also draw comfort from the strong sponsor support (Bestway Group). The ratings are dependent on upholding of company’s leading market position along with sustenance of business volumes and margins. The company's good business performance as compared to other players in current stretched economic scenario – challenges on demand front – remains vital for ratings.

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Posted on: 2020-09-15T11:53:00+05:00