Taiwan Cement, Asia Cement Set 2007 record high earnings

Taiwan Cement, Asia Cement Set 2007 record high earnings
Published: 30 April 2008

Investment earnings last year helped Taiwan’s two leading cement producers, including Taiwan Cement Corp. and Asia Cement Corp, set after-tax earnings record highs.
Taiwan Cement said it registered NT$8.255bn (US$273.34m ) in after-tax earnings, or NT$2.55 (US$0.084) in earnings per share, last year. Asia Cement saw its earnings break the NT$10bn (US$331.12m) mark last year.
Huang Chien-chiang, vice president of Taiwan Cement, said that the cement industry in Taiwan and mainland China will see growths in earnings this year. He attributes the earnings growth to the recovering domestic real estate sector and reconstruction business opportunities in the wake of the freakish snowstorm in southern China.
Impacted by the price hike in raw materials and decreased demand stetaside in the second half of last year, Taiwan Cement saw sales and gross profit margin decline to NT$24.564 billion (US$813.37 million) and 13.32%, respectively. Its operating earnings declined by 44.56% year-on-year to reach NT$2.244 billion (US$74.3 million) last year.
Taiwan Cement passed a proposal at a board of directors meeting to distribute NT$2 (US$0.066) in dividends per share this year, including NT$1.9 in cash and NT$0.1 in stock.
Asia Cement said it posted NT$10.745 billion (US$355.79 million) in sales last year, down a mere 0.06% year-on-year. The company saw operating earnings decline 22.96% annually to reach NT$1.733 billion (US$57.38 million) last year. The company registered NT$3.69 (US$0.12) in after-tax EPS last year.
The company noted its board of directors has recently passed a proposal to dole out NT$3 (US$0.099) dividends per share this year, including NT$2.4 cash and NT$0.6 stock.
At present, domestic price for cement is quoted at around NT$2,500 (US$82.78) per metric ton. To compensate for rising production costs, Asia Cement said it is considering raising product prices by between NT$100 (US$3.31) and NT$200 (US$6.62) per metric ton.
Asia Cement currently runs three cement kilns in Jiangxi Province and another in Sichuan province. Anticipating the mainland cement market to continue to grow, Asia Cement is boosting production capacities in Sichuan, Jiangxi and Hubei provinces.