PT Holcim Indonesia Tbk, the country’s third-largest cement producer, on Wednesday announced that it had achieved a record profit in 2008 due to stronger sales in the first half of the year and a significant drop in fuel costs in the second half.
Holcim booked a net profit of IDR282bn (US$23.69m) last year, up 67 per cent from IDR169.41bn in 2007, supported by a 28 per cent increase in sales over the same period to IDR4.8trn from IDR3.75trn.
“The cement industry in general, including Holcim, has been saved by fuel prices plunging in the third and fourth quarter,” Syaiful Adrian, an analyst at PT Ciptadana Sekuritas, said. “Meanwhile, sales were strong in the first half of the year.”
The government has cut fuel prices back to 2007 levels, leaving the high-speed diesel that is used for both land and sea transportation at about IDR5,000 per liter — roughly half of its peak price in mid-2008.
The company managed to maintain the 14 per cent market share it held in 2007, with PT Semen Gresik Tbk remaining the market leader with about 44 per cent market share and PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa in second place with 33 percent.
Meanwhile, the company was also noted as saying that it plans to buy an affiliate in the region to support exports amid stagnating domestic sales. It plans to “acquire a company within Holcim regional group,” it said in a statement in Investor Daily Indonesia newspaper. It didn’t give details.