OCI Q4 net profit jumps 76pc
Cairo, March 8, 2011
Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt's largest listed firm, said on Tuesday its fourth quarter net profit rose 76.1 percent, and that it was upbeat on fertiliser prices in 2011.
The construction and fertiliser firm's fourth quarter net profit rose to $186.0 million from $105.6 million in the same period a year earlier.
Consolidated revenue increased 34.9 percent to $1.32 billion, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 39.4 percent to $317.8 million.
The firm said it had been awarded about $50 million in contracts in Egypt in February, a month when political turmoil had disrupted much of the economy, and would submit bids for several large infrastructure and road projects in coming weeks.
New awards totaled $550 million in the fourth quarter and $2.62 billion in all of 2010, with infrastructure work making up 63 percent of the total new awards during the year.
OCI said its construction backlog fell 15.5 percent in 2010 to $5.62 billion, with infrastructure work making up 59 percent of the backlog.
It said its fertiliser units in Egypt continued to produce as normal despite disruptions caused by political unrest.
"We expect fertiliser prices to remain healthy during 2011 with prices fluctuating based on regular seasonal variations in demand," chairman and chief executive officer Nassef Sawiris said in a statement accompanying the results.
The firm's fertiliser group sold over 1 million tonnes of nitrogen-based fertilisers during the quarter and about 3.7 million tonnes during the year, it said.
"Industry fundamentals and farmer economics remain robust supported by historic all-time highs in prices of wheat and corn," he said, adding that global supply shocks to wheat in 2010 have helped push fertiliser prices higher.
The firm will maintain its interim cash dividend of $1 per share to be paid out in April, the statement said. - Reuters