Siam City Cement , Thailand’s second biggest cement maker, missed forecasts with a worse-than-expected 42 per cent drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Friday due to weak cement demand. SCCC, 32 per cent owned by Holcim, made an October-December quarter net profit of THB412.6m ($12.54m), down from THB706.1m a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Full-year 2007 net profit fell 17.5 per cent to THB3.23bn and the firm would pay an interim dividend of 7.5 baht per share, the statement said. Sales fell 3.6 per cent to THB22.8bn last year, while sales costs rose 0.6 per cent as a result of higher fuel and electricity prices, it said. Fuel and electricity account for more than 70 per cent of SCCC’s costs.
SCCC cut production in January due to weak domestic demand and rising energy costs, reducing its annual output by 2.25Mt to 10Mt of clinker, the company reported.
Sales for 2008 would fall to 22 billion baht, with net profit rising to 3.64 billion baht, according 11 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates. SCCC raised selling prices by 12 per cent late last year and that would help lift its profits, Last month, bigger rival Siam Cement reported a better than expected 24 per cent rise in quarterly profit, helped by strong petrochemical sales, while number three TPI Polene said its fourth quarter net profit fell almost half. (Reuters)