Republic Cement earns nearly PHO3bn as sales go up

Republic Cement earns nearly PHO3bn as sales go up
Published: 21 April 2009

Republic Cement Corp. reported a three-quarter increase in profits in 2008, citing higher sales, cost cuts, and intensified marketing.

Republic Cement, which is majority owned by the local unit of French multinational Lafarge, said profits grew to P2.83 billion in 2008 from only P1.63 billion in 2007 after sales climbed to P14.99 billion from P13.82 billion.

Earnings per share rose by P0.17 to P0.41 centavos. The cement maker’s shares closed P0.08 lower on Friday at P1.12 apiece.

Republic Cement said the boost in sales was due to the acquisition of quarrying firm Batong Angono Aggregates Corp., which contributed P91.33 million in gross profits.

The company also said the volume of clinkers and cement exported in 2008 rose to 104,943 metric tons from 26,800 metric tons the previous year.

Republic Cement noted that the 2007 bottom line included a P2.1-billion expense as a result of a merger with units Fortune Cement Corp. and FR Cement Corp.

The cement maker said that while there was modest growth in public infrastructure spending, property projects funded by remittances from overseas workers and other commercial developments fueled demand for cement.

Still, the construction industry was among the sectors hit hardest by the global economic slowdown, Republic Cement claimed.

Republic Cement said sales costs rose to P9.31 billion last year from P8.95 billion in 2007, but "rising prices of cement input were mitigated by the group’s various efficiency projects and more effective sales and marketing efforts."