Taiheiyo turns to loss as demand for cement wanes

Taiheiyo turns to loss as demand for cement wanes
Published: 11 August 2008

Taiheiyo Cement Corp, Asia’s biggest producer, turned to a loss in its first quarter as demand for the building material waned in Japan and the U. The company reported a loss of ¥8.6bn (US$78m) in the three months ended June 30, compared with a ¥2.7bn profit a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement through the city’s stock exchange. Sales fell 9.6 per cent to ¥202.4bn.

Sales slid in Japan and the US, the company’s largest markets, after a slowdown in construction led to production cuts. Taiheiyo Cement and its rivals in Japan are trying to cope with surging coal and oil expenses by passing on the costs to buyers.

First-quarter operating loss, or the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses exceeding sales, was ¥1.4bn, compared with a profit of ¥11bn a year earlier, the statement said.

Taiheiyo reiterated today full-year profit will probably declined 51 perc ent to ¥10bn, while sales may increase about one per cent to ¥935bn. Operating profit may fall 22 per cent to ¥40bn.

The shares rose 1.9 per cent to ¥213 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today before earnings were announced. The company has lost 20 per cent of its value this year, compared with a 12 per cent slide in Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average.