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Saudi Southern Cement Q1 net jumps 48pc

Riyadh, April 12, 2008

Southern Province Cement Company, Saudi Arabia's second largest cement maker by market value, posted a 47.8 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit after the launch of a new unit amid strong demand.

Southern Cement made a net profit of SR235 million, or SR1.68 per share, in the three months to March 31, 2008 against SR159 million, or SR1.16 per share, in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement posted on the bourse's Web site.

'The rise in net profit stemmed from increase in sales and production,' it said, adding that it started operating a third plant at the beginning of February.

Before Southern Cement, three of Saudi Arabia's five biggest cement producers by market value, including Yamamah Cement, posted first-quarter profit growth of at least 11 per cent on a jump in domestic demand.

Demand for cement is surging in Saudi Arabia, where the economy is benefiting from a more than five-fold surge in oil prices during the last six years.

Companies in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, are developing or have announced projects in oil, gas and industries worth more than $460 billion, according to the London-based Meed magazine.

Faisal Hasan, head of research at Global Investment House, predicts profits of Saudi cement firms may rise by at least 20 percent in 2008.

Cement output capacities are expected to double to 60 million tonnes within the next three years as existing companies expand and new producers enter the market.-Reuters




Tags: Saudi | profit | Southern Province Cement |

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