Still facing the prospect of further competition from imports, monopoly cement producer Caribbean Cement Company Limited’s domestic sales slumped in the June quarter but were offset by cement and clinker exports.
As those sales fall, and the debate rages over whether the local producer should be protected from competing products made overseas, Carib Cement has also signalled it will be taking legal action to safeguard its interests.
Its cement sales in Jamaica fell 54 per cent relative to the March quarter and 15 per cent compared to the 2008 period, but the company made a marginal gain on revenue - J$2.32bn versus J$2.27bn in the June 2008 quarter - on the back of exports.
The sales overseas pushed the company’s quarterly operating profit higher by 8.7 per cent to J$192m, while the six-month result rose 36 per cent to J$610m.
In the six-month period, Carib Cement sold 343,903t of cement domestically, and exported 38,553t of cement and 80,125t of clinker - earning revenue of $4.9 billion or J$330m more than the first half of 2008.
The 80,125t of clinker, the company said, was equivalent to 101,424 tonnes of cement.
But while sales grew, factors outside the company’s direct control conspired to erode net profit which slumped 21 per cent - from $272m to $216m in the half year.