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24th July 2014

Bestway Cement Limited announces acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited for an enterprise value of US$329 million

Bestway Cement Limited ("Bestway Cement"), a subsidiary of Bestway Group ("Bestway") has today announced the successful acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited ("Lafarge Pakistan")

The Pakistan-listed subsidiary has acquired Lafarge Pakistan's 2.4 million tonnes per annum ("TPA") cement plant located in Chakwal, Pakistan for an enterprise value of US$329 million. As a result of the acquisition, Bestway Cement now represents 18% of the entire industry's capacity in Pakistan, with its capacity set to increase to 8 million TPA. The transaction means Bestway Cement has now become the country's largest cement manufacturer.

Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group Chief Executive and CEO of Bestway Cement, said:
"We are excited about the prospect of adding Lafarge Pakistan Cement to our existing portfolio. Through this investment we have reinforced our commitment to Pakistan where our cement and banking businesses continue to flourish. We see great potential for the cement business to keep growing, and will continue to review opportunities to invest in it further. For now, we will be working to integrate Lafarge into our existing cement business, adding efficiencies and synergies where possible."

The UK-based global conglomerate is the UK's eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.

Bestway includes the UK's second largest wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide and with over 6 million square feet of selling space.

United Bank Limited, Bestway's banking division, is Pakistan's second largest private bank with assets under management of US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.

This latest acquisition comes less than a week after the Group's US$1.1 billion acquisition of the UK's third largest pharmacy business. – The Co-Operative Pharmacy. The pharmacy business has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees. In 2013 it reported total revenue of US$1.3 billion and EBITDA of US$116 million.

With these recent acquisitions, Bestway will have an annual turnover of approximately US$6 billion and a global workforce of 33,000 people.

The Bestway Group's charitable trust, Bestway Foundation, has donated in excess of US$9.0 million in Pakistan since 1997 for health, education and humanitarian causes.

For further information contact:

Bestway Group
Salih Sheikh
Tel: +44 20 8453 1234

Brunswick
Jonathan Glass
Tel: +44 20 7409 5959

20th June 2014

Bestway donates fans to Central Jail, Haripur, Hattar, KPK

Bestway Cement is once again in the forefront at doing good. While backing it’s other CSR initiatives like corporate philanthropy, educational support programs and socially responsible employment and manufacturing practices, Bestway again fulfills its social obligation of welfare works by donating 160 fans to Central Jail, Haripur, Hattar, KPK on Friday, June 20, 2014 in order to provide a healthier habitat to it’s prisoners.  The distribution of fans was done in a ceremony at Central Jail, Haripur, Hattar attended by some senior officials of Bestway and the Deputy & Assistant Commissioner of District Haripur in the KPK.

3rd June 2014

PACRA Assigns Long-term rating of “A+” and Short-term rating of “A1” to Bestway Cement Limited

May 2014

Bestway Cement Limited ranked 10th out of 478 PLCs by volume of donations in Pakistan according to Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy’s (PCP) Philanthropy Survey 2012

March 2014

Bestway Cement certifies as “Corporate Supporter” of WWF-Pakistan



Bestway Cement donates towards nature conservation in Pakistan as a Corporate donor to WWF-Pakistan



UBL awarded Best Pakistan Bank for second successive year

Bestway Group is proud to announce that its banking subsidiary United Bank Limited (UBL) has been awarded the prestigious Bank of The Year award for the second year running.

The awards organised by ‘The Banker’ magazine recognise excellence in banking and attracted 483 entries from around the globe.


The Banker commented, “The editorial judging committee at the Banker is delighted to report that the high standards we have come to expect was more than maintained this year. The banks awarded have truly excelled and are out performing their competitors on numerous fronts.”

UBL was singled out for particular praise as “Pakistani banks have faced a number of challenges over the past year….However UBL has been working hard to overcome these challenges and push ahead with its own strategy for the local market achieving 35% growth in non-funded incomes and significant growth in UBL Omni, its branchless proposition.”

Bestway Group Chairman Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Chief Executive, Zameer Choudrey collected the accolade on behalf of UBL.  Zameer said “UBL is performing phenomenally well in Pakistan given declining interest rates and the increasing cost of deposits. Under the stewardship of CEO Atif Bokhari, the bank continues to outperform both the market and its competition and he and his staff can be very proud of their achievements”.

In October 2002, Zameer Choudrey led a Bestway Group consortium to acquire UBL. Under Zameer’s guidance in just over a decade UBL has grown to be Pakistan’s second largest private commercial bank with asset base in excess of US$9 billion. “

This year the Bank’s UK operations were rebranded with the aim to place the Bestway owned bank at the heart of community to better engage, serve and assist in local community development. Today, UBL UK offers a full range of financial products and has a branch network spread across the country.

14th October 2013

Mustehkam Cement Limited Amalgamates Merges into Bestway Cement Limited

As a response to the implementation of Sanctioned Scheme of Arrangement for Amalgamation of Mustehkam Cement Limited with and into Bestway Cement Limited on October 14, 2013 Mustehkam Cement Limited has no more remained an independent entity.

Both, Bestway Cement Limited and Mustehkam Cement Limited are the Bestway Group Companies and are interlinked to each other as parent and subsidiary since 2005, carrying the same business of manufacturing and sale of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC).

On November 11, 2005 Bestway Cement Limited acquired Mustehkam Cement Limited and revived an almost dead cement plant by generating employment opportunities as well as massive government revenue. Since then, Mustehkam Cement Limited has been operating as an individual entity but under the umbrella and as a segment of Bestway Cement Limited.

Around the beginning of the second quarter of 2013 it was proposed that Mustehkam Cement Limited be amalgamated into Bestway Cement Limited which was approved by the Islamabad High Court in October 2013.

The main object of this amalgamation was to bring both companies under one management in order to avoid duplication of work, reduction of overheads while aiming to achieve economies of scales. Also, the majority of Directors of the representative Boards of both amalgamating companies were common. It was clearly understood that this merger would not affect the interest of the shareholders, instead would be taken better care of by, one Board.

Merger will broaden the assets base of the amalgamated company which will result in achieving operational synergies and facilitate capacity backed endeavors for meeting the growing demands of construction giants involved in mega projects.

Subsequently, operation at higher scale of production results in higher contribution margin leading to solid commercial standing to face the adverse market conditions. Proper planning of annual maintenance of the merging facilities will ensure continued dispatches round the year, hence contributing to major comfort factor for the export customers and the company will get valuable edge and will be able to compete more aggressively in the market.

Due to higher scale of production, the merged company would be able to achieve improvement in its contribution margin which will resultantly increase its risk absorption capacity and help to meet potential risks arising out of the adverse and uncertain operational and marketing environment.

20th December 2013

Sir Anwar Pervez inaugurates UBL Sports Arena and Boys Hostel at IBA Karachi

On 20th of December 2013, Sir Anwar Pervez, OBE H Pk, Chairman Bestway Group inaugurated the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) University of Karachi’s UBL Sports Arena and Boys Hostel.

The impressive inauguration ceremony was graced by the Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Yasin Anwar. The prestigious event was hosted by Dr. Ishrat Husain Dean of IBA; in attendance were captains of industry; diplomats; faculty members; students and alumni of IBA.

The UBL Sports Arena was constructed over a period of two years through donations of US$ 750,000 by United Bank Limited.

Bestway Foundation Pakistan donated US$ 1 million for the Boys Hostel.  

In recognition of Sir Anwar’s entrepreneurial successes and selfless philanthropic endeavours, Dr. Ishrat announced that IBA has decided to dedicate the Boys Hostel as Sir Anwar Pervez Boys Hostel.     

Bestway Group Chief Executive Mr Zameer Choudrey who has been championing the Group’s corporate social responsibly initiatives said; “Bestway Group prides itself at being at the heart of the community.  As the country’s leading foreign investor we have actively contributed towards the capacity enhancement of IBA, Pakistan’s premier public business school, thus facilitating the creation of an enviable alliance between academia, enterprise and philanthropy”.

Mr. Choudrey further said; “In the last two decades, Bestway has donated in excess of US$ 9 million for community empowerment through investments in schools, universities and hospitals”.    

Bestway Group is the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the local economy with investments in excess of US$ 1.5 billion.

Bestway Group owned UBL is Pakistan’s 2nd largest private bank and for the 2nd year running was declared the Bank of the Year for Pakistan by UK’s Banker Magazine.

Bestway Foundation Pakistan is a charitable trust which is chaired by Zameer Choudrey and provides funding to local schools, national universities and hospitals throughout the country.  

In the last three years alone UBL and Bestway Foundation Pakistan have jointly donated/pledged over US$ 1.7 million to IBA.





10th July 2013

Ramadan, Bestway distributes Ramadan Packages to the needy

Bestway distributed more than 200 Ramadan Packages comprising of basic food items to Widows and Needy individuals around Mustehkam Cement Plant , Farooquia, Hattar area during the Holy month of Ramadan. Individuals belonged to five villages namely Shadi, Bhalar Top, Nazar Abad, Gar and Bhoi.


6th-10th December 2012

Exhibition PITEX-12 was held at Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar.

Bestway Cement Limited was a delegate at PITEX-12 Exhibition in Amritsar.  The company was represented by its authorised dealer Mr M P Singh Chatha. Bestway Cement is one of the largest exporter of cement to India from Pakistan.



6th December 2012

Bestway Recieves EC-Certificate of Conformity for Portland Cement from Council for Quality and Environment, Turkey

28th November 2012

UBL wins "Bank of the Year 2012 Pakistan" Award

United Bank Limited (UBL) was awarded ‘Bank of the Year 2012 Pakistan’ by the prestigious international publication ‘The Banker’ in a ceremony held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London, on November 28, 2012. UBL won the award for promoting industry-wide excellence in the global banking community – characteristics that The Banker advocates and rewards.

5th November 2012

Bestway Cement’s Board of Directors’ Field Study Visit to UAE

Bestway Cement Limited’s directors visited three cement plants in UAE from 3 – 5th November.  The aim of this visit was to study and analyze the measures which have been adopted by the UAE companies for operations, maintenance and cleanliness with a view to improving existing measures in place at the four Bestway factories.

The team visited Ras Al Khaimah Cement Company, National Cement Company and Emirates Cement Lafarge. 

Sir Anwar Pervez, Mr Asif Shah, Mr Mehmood Afzal, Mr Irshad Ameer, Mr Ijaz Malik and Mr Abdus Sattar  at the National Cement Company

4th November 2012

Katas Raj Restored

Due to its historical background particularly being the sacred place for Hindus, the water shortage problem in the water pond of “Katas Raj” was recently highlighted in the press and electronic media by different quarters.  The pond had dried up mainly due to drought and huge quantities of silt and debris which had blocked the outlets of the springs.  The Government of Punjab took serious notice of this and made concerted efforts to restore the pond. 

Besides efforts made by the District Government, Bestway Cement Limited also played a vital role in the restoration whereby debris and garbage was removed with the help of heavy equipment and manpower.  Consequently, faces of many springs were opened and the water level in the pond was restored to its normal level.

Rehabilitation Work undertaken by BCL Chakwal at Katas Raj in Progress

Katas Raj after its restoration

29th September 2012

BCL's profit after tax increases to Rs 3.06 billion

Bestway Cement Limited announced it results for the year ended 30 June 2012.  Turnover for the year increased by 33% to Rs 17.8 billion. This was due to increase in domestic demand and improvement in the selling price of cement.

Gross profit nearly doubled to Rs 5.7 billion because of higher turnover and lower cost of production on the back of declining coal prices and efficient utilisation of the waste heat recovery power plant.  Profit after tax increased to Rs 3.1 billion as compared to Rs 0.2 billion for the year ended June 2011.

Administration Building at BCL Chakwal

During the year, the parent company injected extra equity in BCL.  The total equity injection of Rs 3.8 billion through a rights issue allowed the company to reduce its debt and financial charges.

The board of directors of the company in its meeting held in Islamabad declared that the company's earning per share has increased to Rs 5.29 in the period under review against Rs 0.57 in the same period last year.

Bestway Cement Limited is the 2nd largest cement producer in Pakistan.  It continues to maintain its position as the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan and India.  The company has also acquired certification from the South African Bureau of Standardisation.

5th June 2012

World Environment Day celebrated at Bestway Cement Chakwal

The 40th World Environment Day 2012 was celebrated in Pakistan and across the globe with the theme ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action. 

Green Economy is an economy which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. Different government departments and companies held seminars to commemorate the day with great enthusiasm and aimed to bring about drastic developmental changes for safe and protected environment in the country.  Bestway Cement Limited conducted a similar seminar at the District Council Hall in Chakwal.

Mr Irshad Ameer distributing Merit Certificates among Participants of the Essay Competition on Environment on eve of Seminar on Environment Day

16th April 2012

First truck to cross the border to India carries Bestway’s cement

Bestway Cement Limited has become the first company to export cement to India via trucks. Bestway Cement Limited is the largest exporter of cement to India and historically, these exports were done through the Wagah border on trains.  With this latest development, Bestway cement has now become the first Pakistani exporter of cement to India on trucks.

Bestway Cement truck crossing the Wagah border to India

3rd April 2012

Bestway Group announces 2011 results; Sales up 11% as profit crossed £100 million


The Bestway Group has announced the financial results for the year ended 30 June 2011. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 11.1% to £2.34 billion from £2.10 billion in 2010.  Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2011 crossed the £100 million mark and was up 65.3% to £119.1 million as compared to £72.0 million in 2010.  All group businesses were profitable.

Mr Zameer Choudrey, the Group chief executive said, “The past twelve months have been very exciting for the Group and despite the difficult business conditions we have maintained our focus on the strategic goals by increasing turnover and market share of our businesses both in the UK and in Pakistan”.

During the period under review Bestway Cement Limited's despatches declined by 15.8% to 4,163,183 tonnes from 4,944,440 tonnes in the corresponding period last year. This decrease was due to a weak domestic market on the back of the severe flooding in first quarter of the year under review. Despite this Bestway maintained its position as the second largest cement producer in Pakistan.
Export sales decreased by 13.4% to 859,557 tonnes in 2011 as compared to 992,296 tonnes in 2010. Overall exports suffered due to a slow down in construction activity in the Middle East. However, exports to Afghanistan and India increased by 8.1% and the company was therefore able to maintain its position as the largest Pakistani exporter of cement to these areas.
Turnover net of excise duty, rebates and discounts to customers amounted to £124.5million compared to £113.7 million for 2010, which is an increase of 9.5%. Despite a decrease of 15.8% in sales volumes, the turnover increased due to improvement in selling price of cement. Better profit margins turned the loss before tax of £14.1 million in 2010 to a profit before tax of £1.96 million for the year to 30 June 2011.

The WHRPP has helped reduce the cost of production for the Chakwal plants. The WHRPP has been registered with the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) under the Clean Development Mechanism, making it the first project in the Pakistani cement industry.

1st March 2012

Bes
tway Cement posts Rs 724.99 million profit after tax

Bestway Cement Limited has posted Rs 724.99 million as profit after tax in the half year period ended 31 December 2011 as compared to after tax loss of Rs 477.05 million in the corresponding period in 2010. The board of directors of the company declared that the company's earning per share stood at Rs 1.25 in the period under review against per share loss of Rs 1.46 in the same period last year.

According to the financial results sent to Karachi Stock Exchange, the company's net turnover increased to Rs 7.93 billion in the half year period in 2011 against Rs 5.68 billion in the same period in 2010. The cost of sales increased to Rs 5.68 billion against Rs 4.83 billion in the corresponding period last year.

22nd December 2011

Bestway Cement Acquires SABS

Bestway Cement Limited has acquired certification from the South African Bureau of Standardisation (SABS).  This will allow BCL to export its cement to South Africa.  The company is now actively pursuing export opportunities to South Africa and its neighbouring countries.



29th July 2011

Bestway Cement Limited wins Annual Environment Excellence Award

Bestway Cement Limited has won the 8th Annual Environment Excellence Award 2011 for being a socially responsible and environment-friendly organization.  The award is organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Ministry of Environment. The award is aimed at recognising organisations that promote environmental stewardship, build sustainable communities and adopt internal environmental health and safety practices.
Bestway’s cement plants are environmentally friendly and the company pursues protection of environment by ensuring that its plants continue to company with established environmental standards.


Mr Khalid Siraj Subhani presenting the Environment Excellence Award to Mr Irshad Ali Ameer


15th July 2011

Bestway Cement Chakwal Awarded Certificate for ISO 9000

Bestway Cement Chakwal has been awarded the ISO 9000 quality certificate. The company is driven by efficiency and quality consciousness and to ensure this, some of the best quality control equipment is in use at the plants. Bestway’s laboratories are equipped with state of the art technology including X-ray Fluorescent Analyser and Diffractometer. By virtue of this equipment, Bestway Cement has been able to consistently produce better quality cement than is currently available in the country. The certificate below is a testament to this.


6th April 2011

Bestway injects Rs1.25 billion into Mustehkam Cement

Bestway Cement has invested Rs 1.25 billion into the company’s subsidiary, Mustehkam Cement Limited through purchase of right shares. An extraordinary general meeting of Bestway Cement approved the move to subscribe to the shares at a price of Rs 15 per share, compared with a six-month average price of Rs 13.07 per share.

After the latest capital injection, Bestway Group’s stake in Mustehkam Cement stands at 95.03% of the total paid-up capital. The group purchased Mustehkam Cement in September 2005 after a successful bid of $70 million for an 85.29% stake. The plant had been dormant since 1999; however it became operational a month after the deal in November 2005.  It is located in Haripur, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and has an installed capacity of 0.6 million tons per annum. The capital inflow is part of a series of measures being carried out since the acquisition of the plant to improve efficiency and productivity.


19th January 2011

Bestway Opens Rs 2.5 billion Waste Heat Recovery Plant

Bestway Cement Limited recently inaugurated its state of the art 15 MW Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant located at its Chakwal site. Speaking at a simple ceremony held to mark the occasion, the Group Chief Executive Mr. Zameer Choudrey remarked that this was yet another milestone in a long series of achievements by Bestway since its entry in Pakistan
An investment of more than Rs 2.5 billion to set up the Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant in difficult economic times demonstrated Bestway’s unwavering commitment towards economic development of Pakistan while keeping environment protection its top priority.
Bestway’s WHRPP is the 1st of its kind in the cement industry of Pakistan.  As Waste Heat Recovery Power Generation consumes no fuel, there is no greenhouse gas emission in the process.  The Plant has enabled Bestway to significantly reduce its reliance on external source of power. Bestway’s WHRPP conforms to the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) and has been successfully registered with UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Bestway’s 15 MW Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant turbine

1st October 2010

Public welfare dispensary inaugurated at Chakwal plant site

Bestway always takes its social responsibility seriously especially towards the local community. A public welfare dispensary at the Chakwal plant site was inaugurated on 1st October in the presence of the notable locals. A qualified medical officer supported by the factory nursing staff will be available during evening hours to provide medical support to locals. It is expected that up to a 1,000 people a month will be able to benefit from this basic health unit.


Local child being seen by a doctor, at the public welfare dispensary at the Chakwal plant site

October 2010

Bestway Looks After Its Employees - Recreational Facilities available for staff

For Bestway Cement Limited, its employees are one of its biggest assets.  Therefore, the company likes to provide recreational facilities for its staff members. Recently, the company held its annual badminton tournament at the Sports Complex on the Chakwal site. The sports complex is equipped with indoor game facilities.  The complex also includes a fully functional gym and a swimming pool.  A match during Annual Badminton tournament held at Sports Complex at Bestway Cement Chakwal works is underway.



New sports hall open on the Chakwal site

2nd August 2010

Bestway Cement Limited wins 7th Annual Environment Excellence Award

Bestway Cement Limited has won the Annual Environment Excellence Award for 2010 for being a socially responsible and environment-friendly organization.  The award was presented by the Federal Minister for Environment, Mr Hameedullah Jan Afridi to Mr Irshad Ameer GM Works Chakwal in a ceremony in Karachi.

11th January 2010

Bestway Group’s turnover exceeds £2 billion

The Bestway Group has announced the financial results for the year ended 30 June 2009. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 8.6% to £2.05 billion from £1.89 billion in 2008.  Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2009 was £80.6 million as compared to £63.9 million in 2008, an increase of 26.1%.

Mr Zameer Choudrey, said when announcing the results, “During the year under review, our businesses showed robust performance, both in the UK and Pakistan with all Group businesses continuing to enhance their respective market shares during the year. We are very proud to have broken the £2 billion barrier for the first time.”

Total fixed asset additions in Pakistan for the year were £53.0 million of which investments of £33.8 million were made on the upgrade of Mustehkam Cement Limited and £19.2 million was spent on setting up the Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant at Chakwal. This was partly financed by internally generated cashflows of £16.2 million and partly by bank borrowings of £36.8 million.  

Mr Choudrey added, “All of these investments are a testimony of the Bestway Group’s long term commitment to all of its businesses and proves how we are continuing to invest for the future.”

12th September 2009

Mustehkam Cement Production Capacity Upgraded

Work on upgrading Mustehkam Cement Limited’s production capacity from 1,000 tonnes to 3,300 tonnes of clinker per day has been completed at a cost of £33.8 million.   The new line commenced trial production today.  This should result in significantly lower consumption of fuel and power and will make the plant more efficient. The main supplier for the pyro process equipment is FLSmidth.  The raw mills have been supplied by Loesche and the motors, operation and control units and instrumentation has been supplied by Siemens. 

Mustehkam Cement Limited was acquired by Bestway Cement in 2005 and started production in December 2005, one month after acquisition.

19th August 2009

Bestway Cement wins exporter of the year award for 2009

In a recent awards ceremony organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce, Bestway Cement Limited received an award for being the largest exporter to Afghanistan.  Bestway is already firmly established as one of the leading brands in Afghanistan and exported US$ 35 million worth of cement to Afghanistan.

Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the award from Mian Shahbaz Sharif

9th April 2009

Bestway Cement Receives Certification from SLSI

The Srilankan Standard Institution has granted Bestway Cement Chakwal to use the SLS certification mark on its cement bags.  This means that Bestway Cement can now export its cements to Srilanka.

3rd-07th December 2008

Punjab International Trade Expo 2008, Amritsar

Bestway Cement Limited was a delegate at the Punjab International Trade Expo 2008 in Amritsar.  The company was represented by its authorised dealer Mr M P Singh Chatha.  Bestway’s stall was visited by Mr Sukhbir Singh, President of Shromani Akali Dal; Mr S Prakash Singh, son of CM Punjab ad other dignitaries.  Bestway Cement is one of the largest exporter of cement to India from Pakistan.

19th August 2008

Bestway Cement Limited Wins the Exporter of the Year Award 2008

Bestway Cement Limited was awarded the exporter of the year award 2008 for being the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan.  During the year overall exports from Pakistan were 7.71 million and exports to Afghanistan were 2.81 million.  BCL exported 387,000 tonnes of cement to Afghanistan which was 14% of total exports.
BCL’s achievements were awarded by The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.



Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the award from Mr. Awais Ahmed Ghani (Governor KPK)

1st August 2008

Bestway Cement Limited is awarded Merit Certificate and Exports Award

Bestway Cement Limited was awarded the exporter of the year award 2008 for being the largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan.  Mr Shahid Sohail collected the award from Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab.

 

Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the Merit Certificate and Exports Award from Mr.Mian Shahbaz Sharif

6th June 2008

Bestway Cement Limited’s second line at Chakwal commences operations

The kiln at Bestway Cement’s second plant at its Chakwal site was lighted today.  The line has a capacity of 5,700 tonnes per day and has been completed in a record time of 25 months at a cost of Rs 7 billion. 

Bestway continues to be among the top brands both in the domestic market and in Afghanistan where it is an established best brand.  With the successful completion of Line II, Bestway Cement has now become the second largest cement producer in the country.


 
Bestway Cement Chakwal Line II

17th October 2007

Bestway Goes to India.

Zameer Choudrey, Group CEO announced today that Bestway Cement Limited has been granted a licence by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) which will enable the company to export cement to India.  Bestway is one of the few foreign cement manufacturers who have been granted this licence.

This opens up new markets for Bestway and gives us an opportunity to supply cement to one of the world’s largest economies. Given the unprecedented demand of cement in India, the company has already been approached by numerous importers.

March 2007

Community Uplift

Education is very important to Bestway Group.  Earlier this year, Bestway Cement committed in excess of US$ 400,000 towards the establishment of the Chakwal Campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila which will be paid over a two year period in 2008 and 2009. 

The company is providing financial assistance to the District Government to reconstruct Choa Saiden By-pass road into a dual carriageway for faster communications. The group has already established many educational and health facilities for the people of the surrounding areas to help improve their living standard.

University Of Engineering and Technology, Taxila’s Chakwal Campus

8th September 2007

Bestway Cement Limited Wins the Export Trade Trophy

Bestway Cement Limited was awarded the 20th Export Trade Trophy for exports to Afghanistan.

Bestway views itself as an important strategic component in the development of the South Asian and Middle Eastern regions.   Bestway has remained the single largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan for past many years; hence it continues to play an important role in the rebuilding and development of that country. 

Since 2007, Bestway has been regularly exporting cement to India both via land and sea routes. Within a very short span Bestway has become one of the largest exporters of Cement to India also. The Company views India as an important market and is keen to explore all possibilities of increasing the presence of its product there.

Sri Lanka, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia are the other markets which the Company has successfully been able to tap into.



20th Export Trade Trophy, awarded to Bestway Cement Limited for large exports

31st July 2006

President of Pakistan Attends the Inauguration Ceremony of Bestway Cement Chakwal-1 and Laying Foundation Stone of Line II

Today a grand ceremony was held at Bestway Cement Limited Chakwal which was attended by General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan.  General Musharraf inaugurated Line I and laid the foundation stone for the Line II. The project was finished within 23 months with high quality.
The facility involves investment of US$ 160 million and has a capacity to produce 6,000 tonnes of cement per day. The President described foreign investment and privatization as the key to the country’s sustainable economic growth. With an additional investment of US$ 235 million, the Group is also entering the power sector and will soon establish three power plants with a total generation capacity of 264 megawatts at three locations.



President Pervez Musharraf along with Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Zameer Choudrey at the Inauguration of Bestway Cement Chakwal Line I.

13th June 2006

Chakwal Line I commences commercial production in record time

13th June 2006 Chakwal Line I commences commercial production in record time

Bestway Cement Limited’s new state of the art plant in Chakwal commenced production today.  The plant has been built at a cost of Rs 7 billion and has been completed in 19 months which is a record in the cement industry.
              
A brief but impressive ceremony was held at the plant, which was attended by people of the area and local notables. Representatives of foreign suppliers of the plant as well as the chief executive of the company had specially flown in for the occasion.

To mark the commencement of operations, the initial production of cement was despatched in the presence of these notables. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Executive of the Company, Mr. Zameer Choudrey stated that the project has been completed in a record time of 19 months. He further opined that this added capacity should help alleviate the shortage of cement and stabilise prices in the country. The project will also provide much needed employment to more than 5,000 people directly and indirectly.

It may be recalled that the Prime Minister of Pakistan laid the corner stone of this project on 9th April last year. Bestway Cement has already two existing plants operating in Hattar and Farooquia.


Bestway Cement’s state-of-the-art plant in Chakwal.

The addition of this plant will take their daily production to 12,000 tonnes per day. Bestway has been producing Ordinary Portland Cement of the highest quality - far exceeding the Pakistani, British as well as American standards. For this reason, it is a preferred Brand in the export market also. It was awarded Best Export Trophy by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce for the last three consecutive years.

For its Chakwal project, raw mill also coal mill have been supplied by Loesche, electrical fans, electric motors and instrumentation has been provided by ABB and Siemens. This is the largest and single kiln cement plant in Pakistan to date.

The cement plant is built according to the most modern world standards and "every sack of our cement will be checked under a strict computerized quality control," Mr. Zameer Choudrey said. It should also be noted that the plant has been constructed keeping in mind all the environmental concerns of the Environment Protection Authority, Government of Pakistan.

Many international environment agencies were also consulted for the construction of this project. Industry specialists term this expansion as a "welcoming sign" for the investment and industrial policies of the Government of Pakistan.” The stability of the cement price will be a bonus for the consumer," a market observer said.

Mr Mehmood Afzal, GM Project being honoured in the traditional manner

23rd June 2006

Bestway Donates to Pakistan Government’s Relief Effort

Bestway Group donated a total of £1 million towards the Pakistan Government’s relief efforts towards the rehabilitation of the earthquake victims. The group’s latest donation was at its Annual Charity Race Day held at the Royal Ascot Race Course, UK. Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk presented a cheque of £100,000 on behalf of Bestway Foundation to the Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.



Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk,
presenting a cheque to the Pakistani High Commissioner in London, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.on behalf of Bestway Foundation.

2nd March 2006

Bestway to revive Mustehkam Cement

Bestway Cement has planned to start a project in Chakwal, having a capacity of 6,000 tones per day and efforts are underway to revive Mustehkam Cement.

The company said, in a notice, to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) that the work of the new plant of 6,000 tons per day cement capacity in Chakwal continues at brisk pace.

The civil work is nearing completion and most of the equipment has arrived at the site. The erection of mechanical and electrical equipment has also commenced. The management anticipates that the project would be completed by end of the current fiscal year.

Regarding Mustehkam Cement, the company said that after full and final payment to the Privatisation Commission, the management of Mustehkam was transferred to Bestway on November 16, 2005. Right from the outset management has made all efforts to revive Mustehkam plant which had remained shut since January 1999.



The company was successful in restarting the 1,000 tons per day dry process line during December 2005 and commercial production commenced just before the end of the same month. Efforts are underway to ensure smooth operation of that line and earliest resumption of the two semi-dry process lines of 550 tons per day each.

About future outlook, the company said that the government's continued emphasis on infrastructure development, including the recent announcement of dams, reservoirs, huge construction requirement as a result of devastating earthquake in the north of the country, adequate availability of water during the second half and acute shortage of housing would continue to derive the domestic market.

While there may be some pressure on the prices as a result of more capacity coming online, robust demand for cement should ensure future price stability.

The profit of the Bestway Cement Ltd registered an impressive increase of 62 percent in the six months ended December 31, 2005 to Rs 659 million compared with Rs 407 million for the same period a year ago.

1st February 2006

Sir Anwar Pervez meets Prime Minister Mr Shaukat Aziz

Sir Anwar Pervez, Chairman Bestway Cement Limited called on Prime Minister Mr Shaukat Aziz at the PM House.  Sir Anwar praised the policies of the government which provided a level playing field to both local and foreign investors.

The Prime Minister hailed Bestway Group’s decision to direct their foreign investments to Pakistan. Noting the services and honour of Sir Anwar Pervez, he said that Sir Pervez had set an example worth following for his compatriots living abroad.  He also said that overseas Pakistanis, particularly those from UK, should explore the possibility of investing in Pakistan in view of its low cost of production and availability of skilled labour.

January 2006

Bestway-led Mustehkam Cement Limited put into operation in record one-month time

Bestway Cement Limited, after getting control of the recently offloaded Mustehkam Cement Ltd (MCL), has successfully put this plant into operation within a record period of one month against the three-month target for this purpose.
MCL was privatized to Bestway Cement in the mid November last year against its highest bid of Rs.3.2 billion (Rs. 305 per share) after its remaining closed for over size years.
However, the highly experienced and dedicated staff of the Bestway Cement Ltd working round the clock itself achieved a seemingly impossible goal to start this plant in a record time of one month and the first consignment of the product left the factory premised on December 30, 2005, according to a press release.



Mustehkam Cement Limited after it was privatized to Bestway Cement

Revival of this almost dead cement plant has generated employment opportunities to over 2600 workers including most of the old workers and now the MCL is generating massive government revenue (Excise Duty & GST) to the tune of Rs 15 lakh per day. Out of three kilns (two semi process of 550 TPD capacity each and one dry process of 1000 TPD capacity), the dry process kiln was put in operation on December 10 after extensive repairs and refurbishment registering the full installed capacity (1000 TPD).
Not compromising on the quality, the management is highly conscious that the cement being produced at the plant meets the highest standards of quality before its supply to open market. For this purpose, the chemical laboratory of Bestway’s Hattar plant, equipped with most sophisticated testing instruments, is exercising control on the quality of cement produced at MCL, it said.

Rehabilitation as well as up-gradation of one of the two semi-wet process units lying inoperative for the last ten years is being focused which will further improve overall performance of the unit.

April 2006

Regular Consultation Meetings

Regular consultation among the plant operation staff, marketing department and cement dealers has made Bestway Cement among the top brands both in the domestic market and international markets. Bestway has been able to maintain its status as a market leader due to its superior quality, effective marketing strategy, customer care and sheer dedication of its marketing team and dealers.

The company holds regular consultation meetings with its dealers.  .



Mr. Zameer Choudrey (CEO), conducting a meeting at Bestway Cement Chakwal.

March 2006

Health & Safety

Health & safety of employees is an essential component of Bestway’s operations.  Initiatives including safety meetings, incident reporting, safety audits, good housekeeping and hygiene controls are actively pursued and instil safe behaviour in all personnel. 

Regular training sessions and workshops are also conducted to update the staff about safety measures.



HSE Officer Mr. M. Shahid is conducting a training session at Chakwal Plant.

March 2006

Training & Development

Bestway places great importance on the training, development and education of its employees.  In order to keep its workforce abreast with best operational techniques and practices, technical and general managerial training courses are organised for various departments and categories of personnel.  The company actively encourages and assists its employees in pursuit of professional development and career enhancement.

As part of its commitment to skills development and grooming of workforce, Bestway employs freshly qualified graduates, professionals and even unskilled human resource. There are carefully planned training programmes in place to ensure that these personnel are equipped with the necessary knowledge, hands on experience and confidence to become a skilled and productive team member.  At any given time Bestway has nearly 150 trainees and apprentices undergoing training in such programmes.

Mrs. Tahira Shahid conducting training on Stress Management at Bestway Cement Chakwal.

December 2005

Bestway Cement Moves into New Head Office

Bestway Cement Limited has moved into its own head office at Bestway Building.  This building was acquired in April 2005 at a cost of Rs 560 million. 

Bestway Head Office Building, Islamabad

19th November 2005

Bestway Cement wins exporter of the year award

Bestway Cement has won the exporter of the year award.  For the year ended June 2005, total industry exports to Afghanistan were 1.41 million tonnes. Bestway Cement exported 281,952 tonnes to Afghanistan thus becoming the lead exporter with 18.05% market share. 

 

Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the Merit Certificate from Mr Sheikh Rashid.

11th November 2005

Bestway offers highest bid for Mustehkam Cement Limited

Bestway Cement Limited offered the highest bid of Rs 305 per share for 85.29% share in Mustehkam Cement Limited at a total cost of Rs 3.2 billion.   Maple Leaf Group was the second highest bidder at Rs 300 per share.

MCL is a public limited company listed on the stock exchange.  The original unit commenced production in 1966 and the new unit started commercial production in 1981.  The plant is located in Hattar and has annual capacity of 630,000 tonnes. 

At a ceremony held at the Privatisation Commission, a share purchase agreement was signed by Mr Tahsin Khan, Secretary Privatisation Commission and Mr Zameer Choudrey, CEO Bestway Cement Limited. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Choudrey appreciated the government's privatisation programme and called it very transparent. He added that Bestway Group was bringing huge investment in Pakistan's different sectors and cement was one of them. He said the Bestway Cement's units were playing their role in meeting the cement need of the housing and construction sectors and MCL ultimately adds to its cement production.

Mr Tahsin Khan and Mr Zameer Choudrey at the signing ceremony

9th April 2005

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz lays the foundation stone of the Chakwal plant
.

Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz laid the foundation stone of Bestway Group’s 1.8 million tonne capacity cement plant in Chakwal District. The Governor & Chief Minister Punjab; Federal Ministers for Industries, Privatization and Investment; foreign dignitaries including the British High Commissioner; District Nazim Chakwal and other local notables attended the ceremony.

While addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister paid rich tribute to Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk, Chairman Bestway Group for his contribution to the industrial development of Pakistan and aptly described him as the son of the soil.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan could become a leading exporter of cement to the regional countries. He added that the reconstruction work in Afghanistan and increased economic activities in Pakistan would create huge demand for cement within the country and in the neighbouring states. Terming the event as “historic” and a “red-letter day”, he said “we are embarking on the journey to progress, prosperity and development that will take us to a new Pakistan”. 



Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz with Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Mr. Zameer Choudrey (CEO) at the ceremony.

Mr Zameer Choudrey, CEO Bestway Cement Limited highlighted Bestway Group’s global achievements that had made it UK’s second largest cash & carry operator; the owner of Pakistan’s third largest bank; fourth largest domestic cement producer and largest exporter of cement to Afghanistan.

Mr. Choudrey noted with satisfaction that today Bestway Group has the singular honour of being the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the local economy with investments in excess of US $ 500 million which is testament of Sir Anwar’s love for his country and its people.

Highlighting Bestway’s impressive cement manufacturing performance, Mr Choudrey stated that although the cement plant in Hattar, NWFP was commissioned in 1998, it had achieved 100% capacity utilization during the last financial year 2003-2004 and 123% in the 9 months of current financial year. Bestway Cement Hattar has one of the best environmental track records and is considered one of the most efficient plants operating in the country.

He said that given the importance placed by the President and the Prime Minister on infrastructure development, Bestway Group had decided to double its cement manufacturing capacity by setting up a US$140 million state of the art cement plant in Chakwal. Once commissioned the plant would provide employment to 600 people and provide indirect employment opportunities to over 2,500 people – thus helping to bring to reality the Prime Minister’s vision of making Chakwal a symbol of economic development and prosperity for the whole country to emulate.

Mr. Choudrey also spoke about the charitable activities of Bestway Group under the umbrella of Bestway Foundation. He said while playing our role in building the country’s industrial infrastructure, Sir Anwar has directed Bestway Foundation to play an active role in enhancing Pakistan’s human capital. With the announcement of the Chakwal plant, Bestway Foundation UK donated US$ 1 million to Bestway Foundation Pakistan to be spent on village schools and hospitals. This is in addition to the scholarships, grants and financial assistance provided to deserving students and widows on an annual basis.      

Lastly, Mr Choudrey acknowledged the support of the Government of Pakistan, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab, Minister of Industries, the District Nazim and all concerned departments of the Provincial Government.

3rd March 2005

Bestway welcomes proposals to introduce Pakistani products in Britain

Bestway Group hosted a reception in honour of the visiting Pakistani parliamentary delegation at its head office in London.

The reception was attended by members of the delegation, Mr Anjum Bashir, Commercial Counsellor Pakistan High Commission and representatives from print and electronic media. Mr Zameer Choudrey informed the guests that Bestway is the largest importer of Pakistani basmati rice in Britain.  He said that Bestway would welcome every suggestion aimed to promote and flourish the Pakistani products in the UK and is ready to extend every possible facility to achieve the task. 

Zameer Choudrey addressing the reception hosted in honour of visiting Pak parliamentary delegation. Also pictured are Anjum Bashir, Sheikh Younus and Dawood Pervez.

December 2004

Bestway Cement Wins Exporter of the Year Award

Bestway Cement has won the exporter of the year award.  For the year ended June 2004, total industry exports to Afghanistan were 1.12 million tonnes. Bestway Cement exported nearly 250,000 tonnes to Afghanistan thus becoming the lead exporter with 22.23% market share. 

Mr Shahid Sohail Khan, GM Marketing collected the merit certificate on the occasion.

Mr Shahid Sohail Khan receiving the Merit Certificate from Mr Mushtaq Cheema, Federal Minister for Textile & Industry.

20th December 2004

Bestway Cement Limited signs term finance deal

A ceremony was held in Karachi to celebrate the signing of term financing for Rs 4.6 billion for Bestway Cement Limited’s 6,000 tonnes per day cement plant in Chakwal.  The financing has been arranged by Habib Bank and Muslim Commercial Bank through a syndicate. 

Bestway Cement Limited was represented by its Chairman, Sir Anwar Pervez and CEO, Mr Zameer Choudrey.  The syndicate was represented by President Habib Bank, Mr Zakir Mehmood; President Muslim Commercial Bank, Mr Aftab Manzoor; President Allied Bank of Pakistan, Mr Khalid Sherwani; and Country Manager Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Badar Kazmi.

Speaking on the occasion, Zameer Choudrey said that “after the successful operation of the cement unit in NWFP over the last six years, Bestway Cement is setting up another state of the art cement plant to cater for the growing cement demand both in the domestic and export markets in the region”. 

The new plant is to be located on a green field site in Tehsil Choa Saiden Shah District Chakwal, Punjab. The equipment and machinery is based on modern environmentally friendly technology. Contracts for the procurement of machinery from USA, Western Europe and China have already been signed. Civil works are being executed by competent local contractors..

Bestway was one of the only two producers in the country to have achieved 100% capacity utilisation during the year ended June 2004 while the industry operated at an average of 81%.

Sir Anwar Pervez, Zameer Choudrey, Zakir Mehmood, Khalid Sherwani, Badar Kazmi and Aftab Manzoor

28th February 2003

Plant Conversion to Coal

Bestway Cement has completed the full conversion of its Hattar plant to coal within a record time of 10 months and at a total cost of US$ 10 million.  The machinery for coal conversion was procured from IPPR Engineering of China while some of the fabrication and erection work was done locally. The whole project was supervised by a highly skilful team of Chinese engineers alongside the Company’s own engineers.  Bestway has also set up its own coal testing and analysis laboratory, which is equipped with the most up-to-date equipment to ensure that only quality coal is used in the process to prevent undesired operational and environmental effects.  Conversion to natural gas in 2001 and then to coal has significantly reduced the energy cost component.  The timely and strategic decision to move fuel sources has given Bestway Cement a cutting edge in enhancing and maintaining its market share and being the lead exporter to Afghanistan.

The Hattar plant now has the operational flexibility to utilise all three major fuels, namely, furnace oil, Natural gas and coal

Coal Mill

9th April 2001

Bestway Cement Listed on Karachi Stock Exchange

Bestway Cement Limited was formally listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange today.  The market lot of the company will be 500 shares of Rs 10 each.

Bestway Cement continues to play a key role in the local economy, providing direct employment to over 600 people with a further 1,500 jobs being created in the transportation of cement from the plant.   Due to its prudent policies and professional management Bestway has been one of the most profitable entities in the industry since it commenced commercial operations in 1998 making substantial contributions to the public exchequer through direct and indirect taxes.

22nd November 2000

Plant converted to operate on natural gas

Fuel and power constitute more than 65% of the cost of manufacturing cement.  Prior to 2001, BCL’s Hattar plant was using furnace oil as fuel.  In anticipation of a further hike in petroleum prices, the management decided to modify the plant to operate on natural gas. This decision is the first step in restoring cost efficient production.

Erection Work at Customer Monitoring Station for Natural Gas

23rd October 1998

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurates Bestway Cement Hattar

Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated Bestway Cement Limited’s plant in Hattar today.  The plant has a daily production capacity of 3,300 tonnes. 

The Prime Minister congratulated Bestway Group for investing in this project, the largest foreign investment in the North West Frontier Province. He also said that the commissioning of the cement plant will contribute a great deal to the nation’s economic strength and help improve the infrastructure which is vital for overall development in the country.  He complimented Bestway on completing the project and commencing production in record time.



Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the inauguration ceremony for Bestway Cement Hattar, along with Sir Anwar Pervez OBE HPk and Mr Zameer Choudrey

18th April 1998

Kiln fired at Bestway Hattar

Bestway Cement Limited’s first cement plant in Hattar has been completed in a record time of 27 months as the kiln was fired yesterday. 

Civil works commenced in January 1996.  The plant is expected to start commercial production by next month.  The plant is based on the dry process technology which is the most energy efficient cement production process.  The cement produced by this plant will conform to British Standard BS12-91 and therefore will be a superior product to those already available in the market. 

The project has been planned on 60% equity and 40% debt. 

 

Mr Sarwar Malik, GM Works lighting the kiln

January 1996

Work commences on Bestway’s first cement plant

Civil work has commenced on Bestway Group’s first cement plant in the underdeveloped area of Hattar, Haripur in North West Frontier Province at an initial investment of US$ 120 million.   The cement plant at Hattar is the Group’s first major industrial enterprise in Pakistan, and the Group wants it to be in production during Pakistan’s Golden Jubilee year.

The contract for the supply of the main plant was signed by Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan in June 1995.  Major equipment such as crushers are being supplied by FAM of Germany, cement mill by Fuller of USA and instrumentation by Siemens of Germany.  The plant will be based on dry process technology.

The source for raw material supply, limestone and gypsum is located a kilometre away from the plant site. The plant will have international pollution control standards and is expected to be completed in record time.

When in full production, the plant is estimated to produce 1 million tons of cement a year. It will employ 400 workers and cement sale will provide employment to many more in retail outlets.

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