Singapore’s Jurong Cement warns of losses for year to March

Singapore’s Jurong Cement warns of losses for year to March
Published: 23 April 2007

Jurong Cement Ltd said it is expecting to report losses for its financial year to March, due to a sharp rise in sand and granite prices and poor results in one of its Chinese associates.  
"Our concrete division has experienced a substantial decline in gross margins due to steep increases in the price of sand and granite following the ban on the export of sand from Indonesia and the severe shortage of granite in the market," the company said.  
"Our concrete division was not able to pass on the full-price increases because of pre-existing contractual obligations that were then in place," it added. 
But these contracts have since been substantially renegotiated to include a price-escalation clause to allow its concrete division to pass on future price increases to the buyer.  
Earnings from one of the group’s associates in China have also been dampened by a fraud case involving its previous financial controller, it added. The case is currently under investigation.  
At the same time, the group’s non-operating expenses have increased substantially due to the payment of staff gratuities and retrenchment benefits, Jurong Cement explained.