Saudi cement-firm profits rise as economy advances

Saudi cement-firm profits rise as economy advances
Published: 10 April 2008

Three of Saudi Arabia’s five biggest cement producers by market value posted first-quarter profit growth of at least 11 per cent on a jump in domestic demand.
 
Yamamah, Saudi Arabia’s third biggest maker of the building material, said net income in the three months to March 31 climbed almost 14 per cent to SAR197.5m (US$52.67m), or 1.46 riyals per share, compared with SAR173.5m, or 1.29 riyals per share, in the year-earlier period.
 
"Demand is strong in Saudi Arabia given the projects going on in the real estate sector and because of economic cities," said Faisal Hasan, head of research at Global Investment House. "Profits this year for cement companies may be more than 20 per cent," on additional sales and higher cement prices.
 
Yanbu Cement Co posted its third-biggest quarterly profit, up 11 per cent to SAR168m. Qassim Cement Co , the fifth largest producer, saw profit rise almost 78 per cent to SAR160m.
 
Yamamah climbed on "an increase in the company’s sales volume," the company said, without giving details. Operating profit rose 12 per cent to SAR196m.
 
Global Investment House said in November the Saudi cement sector would benefit in the medium term because of sustained revenue growth.