Saudi Arabia’s Southern Cement Q3 net down 5.4 per cent

Saudi Arabia’s Southern Cement Q3 net down 5.4 per cent
Published: 21 October 2009

Saudi Arabia’s Southern Province Cement Co, the kingdom’s largest cement maker by market value, posted a 5.4 per cent fall in third-quarter net profit due to a long-standing exports ban.
Quarterly earnings amounted to 141m riyals (US$37.60m) compared with SAR149m in the same period a year ago, the firm said in a statement on the bourse website on Tuesday.

Operational profit declined by 5.2 per cent to SAR146m from SAR154m in the year-earlier period.
"The decline in net profit is due to the continuation of the export ban on cement and clinker," the firm said, adding that demand had also fallen during Islam’s holy lunar month of Ramadan, which ended on Sept. 19.

Shares dipped 0.74 per cent to 67.5 riyals while the main Tadawul index .TASI was at 6,550, up 0.24 per cent.

The firm reviewed expansion plans in June due to the export ban.

Other cement makers also posted declines in profits this quarter due to an export ban imposed since June 2008.

The government had banned cement exports to force prices down after large infrastructure projects sent demand soaring at a time cement firms eyed more lucrative markets abroad.

The ban coincided with capacity expansions that saturated the local market pushing prices and profits of many firms down.

On Monday, Saudi Arabian Cement Co posted a 14.9 per cent drop in net profits to SAR123m.