Yamama Cement Q1 net surges 31pc
Riyadh, April 13, 2010
Saudi Arabia's Yamama Cement posted a 31 per cent increase in first quarter net profits due to higher sales despite an export ban.
Saudi cement companies are still faced with an export ban imposed in 2008 after cement prices skyrocketed as firms were seeking more lucrative offers abroad, leading to a shortage of cement in the local market and a hike in prices.
Yamama made 165 million riyals ($44 million) in the three months ending March, compared to 126 million riyals a year earlier.
'The main reason for the increase in profits is the increase in sales volumes,' the firm said in a bourse statement, without giving volume figures.
Saudi-based NCB Capital said earlier on Monday that Yamama Cement may outpace local rivals in first-quarter sales growth.
Southern Cement, the biggest cement firm by market value, is however expected to post 'weak earnings for the quarter' after its sales volume fell 2 percent during the period, NCB said.
Yanbu Cement reported last week a 19 percent fall in first-quarter earnings, blaming a fall in prices due to stronger competition as well as lower sales.
Yamama's stock, up 8.7 per cent this year to Sunday's close, rose 2.9 percent on Monday before the results were released.-Reuters