Siam Cement Q2 profit down but beats forecast

Siam Cement Q2 profit down but beats forecast
Published: 23 July 2008

Siam Cement PCL (SCC), Thailand’s biggest industrial conglomerate, reported an 18 per cent fall in quarterly net profit on Wednesday as higher costs offset increased product prices, but it was better than forecast.

Siam Cement has stakes in more than 100 petrochemical, cement, paper and related businesses and is often seen as a bellwether for Thailand’s economy.

The firm, which earns up to half of its profits from petrochemicals, reported April-June earnings of 7.20 billion baht ($216 million), higher than a forecast of 6.54 billion baht in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The result was lower than last year’s quarterly profit of 8.82 billion, when the company booked a 2.45 billion baht gain from the sale of stakes in two affiliates.

It said it would pay a half-year dividend of 5.5 baht per share. That compares with 7.5 baht in the same period last year.

Sales in the second quarter rose 26 percent to 80.25 billion baht as SCC raised selling prices to pass on some of its higher costs.

Margins in its petrochemicals division rose in the quarter from a year earlier. The average spread between polyethylene, its key petrochemical product, and its feedstock material, naphtha, was $636, up 4 percent from a year earlier, analysts said.