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Saudi Cement net profit up 13pc

Riyadh, February 19, 2011

Saudi Cement Company, the country's second-largest producer, said on Saturday its net profit rose by 13 per cent in 2010 as it boosted capacity to meet higher local demand.

Saudi Cement made a net profit of 660 million riyals ($176 million) in 2010 compared with 582 million riyals in the previous year, the firm said in a statement.

"The reason for the rise in net profit for the year compared to the previous year is the increased production capacity as new production lines were used... as well as increased local demand," the statement said.

Operational profit increased 14 per cent to 681 million riyals from 598 million riyals in 2009.

Cement companies in Saudi Arabia are still faced with an export ban that was imposed in 2008 after cement prices skyrocketed as firms sought more lucrative offers abroad, leading to a shortage in local market and a hike in prices.

The ban, compounded by supply from new production lines in the country resulted in a saturation of the local cement market which led to lower prices and profits for cement producers in 2009.-Reuters




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