Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) reported poor first-quarter performance linked to falling sales domestically and on the export market — for which the underperforming economy got blame — and also increased debt.
The debt charges this quarter were not due to the plant expansion project completed two years ago, but other liabilities, the company said Tuesday.
Its long and short term debts now total J$4.8 billion.
The majority of the financing for the plant upgrade was provided by parent company Trinidad Cement
Limited, which carries the loan on its books, said CCCL finance manager Orville Hill.
To secure the debt, TCL owns "moveable sections of the equipment" on Kiln 4, Kiln 5 and Mill 5 at the Rockfort, Kingston plant, Hill said.
"TCL carries the debt so they own the asset," said Hill. "We pay a lease."
In this soft market, in which CCCL is fighting to be the sole provider of domestic cement with pushback from Government on behalf of importers, the Kingston-based plant sold 157,649t of cement in Jamaica, a decline of 20,000t or 11 per cent compared to the March 2009 quarter.
It exported 39,004 tonnes of cement to triple last year’s 13,169t, but its overseas sales of clinker were dramatically reduced from 70,698t to just 4,451 tonnes in the current period, a 94 per cent decline.