Siam Cement Pcl , Thailand’s top industrial conglomerate, expects 2010 cement sales volume to rise 10 percent, higher than previously forecast, as growth in the economy has boosted domestic demand.
The country’s top cement maker planned to invest at least THB20bn ($639 million) to expand at home and abroad over the next five years, Pramote Techasupatkul, president of SCG Cement Co. Ltd., told Reuters on Tuesday.
Siam Cement already has a cement plant in Cambodia and is looking for opportunities to invest further in Southeast Asia, he said in an interview.
"Domestic demand began picking up in the second half of last year, with growth coming from the residential sector in the provinces," he said.
In April, Siam Cement said it expected cement sales growth of 5 percent this year.
After contracting in the past three years, cement demand in Thailand is expected to rise 10 percent in 2010 and growth should average 5 percent in the next three years, boosted by a better economy and government infrastructure projects, he said.
"For this year, overall demand should rise about 10 percent and our sales volume should be in line with that," he said.
In the first half of 2010, domestic cement demand rose 13 percent from a year earlier, but growth in the second half is expected to be about 5 percent, Pramote said.
The cement unit, which contributed 20 per cent of Siam Cement group profit in the second quarter, sells Tiger and Elephant brands and has a market share of 40 per cent.