Steppe Cement Ltd reported a much narrowed first-half loss on higher cement sales and said it is currently negotiating to secure financing to complete line 5 in view of the more stable outlook for the market and the production cost benefits that will accrue over the existing wet process.
Turnover for half year ended June 30 US$43.06m compared to US$31.56m in 1H10. Loss before tax was US$2.84m (2010: loss US$4.60m). Sales rose 601,099t, up 15% YoY from 523,156t.
Line 6 production has continued to increase and was up 4% in the 1H 2011 and it is already up 15% in the year to August. Currently line 6 is achieving up to 2450tpd of clinker and up to 3000tpd of cement compared to 2000tpd of clinker in 1H10.
The Kazakhstan cement market increased by 4% during the first half of the year and Steppe Cement currently expects this to increase by 8% for 2011 overall to 6.2Mt.
Steppe Cement increased its market share from 20% from 1H10 to 21% in 1H11 and expects it to remain around that level for the full year 2011.
The Kazakhstan Government has continued its infrastructure projects and ongoing support for completion of real estate projects in Almaty and Astana. It has been recently announced that this support will continue in the smaller cities.