Steppe Cement narrows loss, Kazakhstan

Steppe Cement narrows loss, Kazakhstan
Published: 03 September 2010

Steppe Cement Ltd  reported a narrower loss for the six months ended June 30, primarily reflecting increase in sales volumes coupled with a rise in average sales price.

For the half year, the group reported a pre-tax loss of US$4.60m compared to US$19.49m pre-tax loss last year.

Loss attributable to shareholders of the company narrowed to US$3.88m or 2.5 cents per share from US$18.80m or 15.0 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue for the first half increased to US$31.56m from US$24.84m last year.

The Kazakhstan cement market increased by 20% during the first half of the year from a particularly low base in 2009. Steppe Cement expects a market of 5.4Mt for the full year 2010, an increase of 6% compared to 2009.

Prices are expected to increase marginally in the second half of 2010 compared to the first half of 2010.

Overall local production volumes increased by 10% in the first half of 2010 compared to 2009 while the share of imported cement is expected to decrease from 21% to 17% for the full 2010 financial year and it is mostly concentrated in West Kazakhstan due to the high transportation cost for local companies.