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Cement maker rides on robust construction

Posted on April 25, 2014 09:14:19 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

"SUSTAINED construction activity by the government and private sector" fueled earnings growth of Holcim Philippines, Inc. last quarter, the cement maker said in a statement attached to a disclosure on Friday.
  Net income after tax grew 16.7% to P1.67 billion last quarter from P1.43 billion a year ago, as operating revenue climbed 12.4% to P8.053 billion from P7.165 billion and operating expenses edged up by a slower 7.74% to P5.659 billion from P5.252 billion.

"Cement demand remained robust nationwide as the government ramped up infrastructure spending, while the pirate sector continued commercial and residential projects," the company said in its statement, noting that profit increase was "helped by revenue growth along with increased operating efficiencies and effective cost management initiatives".

The same statement quoted Eduardo A. Sahagun, the company’s president and chief executive officer, as noting that "strong cement demand is a positive indicator for the growing economy".

"It shows the government’s continued commitment to improving infrastructure and raising the country’s competitiveness, and the private sector’s bullishness on available economic opportunities," Mr. Sahagun said.

He added that the company expects cement demand to continue growth "over the medium term", fueled by the government’s decision to hike its infrastructure budget this year by over a third to P404.3 billion this year, continued private sector project rollout, and implementation of public-private partnership ventures.

The company said in its statement that it expects demand to improve further this quarter "as construction activity traditionally picks up during the summer months".

Holcim Philippines shares gained 10 centavos or 0.72% to end P14.00 on Friday from P13.90 each on Thursday.

Holcim Philippines, a member of Switzerland-based Holcim Group, produces cement for both domestic and export markets under four brands: Holcim Excel, Holcim WallRight, Holcim Premium Bulk and Holcim 4X. It operates four cement plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Davao City.

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