Egypt’s OCI says H1 net pft up 46 per cent to $307m

Egypt’s OCI says H1 net pft up 46 per cent to $307m
Published: 04 September 2007

Egypt’s  Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) reported a 46 per cent rise in its first-half net income on Monday to $307 million, helped by higher sales volumes.  
 
The Cairo-based group said in a statement it would pursue more greenfield and acquisition opportunities to sustain its growth momentum.  
 
EBITDA rose 48 per cent to $515 million compared with the same period in 2006. Consolidated revenues rose 43 percent to $1.731 billion, OCI said.  
 
"Our cement operations continued to benefit from favorable market conditions. Our Algerian and Egyptian cement subsidiaries witnessed double-digit sales volume," Chief Executive Officer Nassef Sawiris said.  
 
"Growth and our cement sales in northern Iraq grew seven fold as a result of the capacity ramp-up at Tasluja Cement," he added.  
 
OCI’s Cement Group sold 8.4 million tonnes during the first half of 2007, up 32 percent from a year earlier.  
 
Revenues from its construction activities rose 50 percent. The Construction Group "recorded $1.8 billion in new contract awards during the second quarter in 2007, a 145 percent increase over the same period last year."  
 
OCI said last week it will invest $440 million to build a cement plant in South Africa to meet demand there.  
 
It said in July it would buy a 50 percent stake in North Korea’s Sangwon Cement for $115 million. The firm said the decision carries few risks and allows it to benefit as a "first-mover" into the market.  
 
The group says it owns and operates cement plants in Egypt, Algeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq and Spain, with a combined annual production capacity of 21 million metric tonnes.