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Saudi Cement Q2 profit down 2pc

Riyadh, July 19, 2009

Saudi Cement Co, the country's second-largest producer, said its second-quarter net profit declined 2.3 percent as a government export ban hit sales.

Saudi Cement made 167.7 million riyals ($44.72 million) in the three months to June 30, compared to 171.6 million riyals a year earlier, the firm said in a statement on the bourse website.

'The decline in quarterly profits compared to the same quarter last year is due the continued ban on exports of cement and clinker,' the firm said.

Saudi Cement is the latest cement company to see declines in second-quarter earnings, blamed on the export ban.

The year-long export ban was imposed after domestic cement prices soared last year as Saudi Arabia, undergoing multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects, faced  shortages as cement producers exported large quantities abroad in search of higher profits.

The ban, compounded by the launch of new production facilities, saturated the local market and caused cement prices to fall.

In May, the government allowed cement manufacturers to export part of their surplus production provided they sell their product at the local market for 200 riyals a tonne. - Reuters




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