West China Cement doubles profits

West China Cement doubles profits
Published: 08 March 2010

West China Cement reported a 111% rise in pre-exceptional profit before tax to RMB544m for the year to December, on revenue up 75% to RMB1.517bn.
The Shaanxi Province based company’s gross profit margins improved from 36% to 42% and operating profit margins from 33% to 41%, which it said reflected strong product prices, efficiency gains and economies of scale.
Operating profit was up by 118% to RMB616m.
The company said it was on schedule for listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange before June 30.
Non-executive chairman Robert Robertson is to stand down at the HK listing date. CEO Jimin Zhang is expected to take over as chairman, while Zhenjun Tian will rejoin the board as chief operating officer and a number of Chinese non-executive directors will also join the board.
During the year the company sold a total of 5.08Mt of cement, against 3.45Mt in 2008.
The Pucheng and Lantian plants produced around capacity, while the new Ankang plant commissioned in January contributed 1.34Mt in its first year against design capacity of 1.8Mt.
In the Hanzhong Region, the Yangxian plant will start cement production ahead of schedule this month and the Mianxian plant is due to be commissioned in the third quarter. Both plants have a design capacity of 1.1Mt.
The company embarked on its first strategic acquisitions in 2009 - the Xiushan Cement Plant, with a capacity of 0.7Mt, and an 80% investment in the Lonqiao Cement Plant, which has a capacity of 1.1Mt.
Jimin Zhang said West China planned to continue its growth strategy into 2010, which may include expansion of production through new capacity construction or acquisitions, within Shaanxi Province or into neighbouring provinces.
The company planned construction of two additional 2500tpd production lines. Based on this, production capacity would increase to 11.8Mta by the end of 2010.
It expected continued robust demand for its cement products in 2010, led by infrastructure growth and urbanisation trends in Shaanxi.