Gulf cement producers boosted their net income by more than 19 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 although the value of awarded construction contracts dived by over 70 per cent.
Figures by the Kuwaiti-based Global Investment House (GIH) showed the net earnings of the cement companies in the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) grew by 19.1 per cent to around US$421.49m (Dh1.54bn) in the first quarter of this year from about US$353.9m in the first quarter of 2009.
GIH said the profits were higher despite a decline of around 71.3 per cent in awarded projects to US$8.9bn from nearly US$31bn in the same period. The value was also down by nearly 85 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2009.
The report showed the total value of planned projects in the GCC, which has been affected by the global fiscal turmoil and lower crude prices, dipped by around 14.6 per cent.
From about US$2.66trn in the first quarter of 2009, the value slumped to nearly $2.27trn in the first quarter of 2010, according to GIH.
"This decline was due to the repercussion of the global financial crisis and regional default problems," the report said.