Carib Cement profits plunge 54%

Carib Cement profits plunge 54%
Published: 22 March 2007

Caribbean Cement Company paid out just under $305m to settle faulty cement claims in 2006 as restitution for ’non-conforming’ product let loose on the market.

It anticipates the claims willeventually reach $600m.

The payments, while not totally eroding the cement maker’s profits for its financial year ending December 31, 2006, did strip away 54 per cent of the net earnings that the Rockfort, Kingston-based operation recorded in the year prior.

From after-tax profits of $168.9 million in 2005 culled from revenues of $6bn, Carib Cement’s profit in the current year, though boosted by $18 million of tax credits, was a restrained $77m, despite improved sales of $6.7bn from 843,295t of cement.

The year before, the cement maker sold 856,162t into the market.

"The circumstances that led to this problem have been thoroughly investigated and corrective actions have been taken to avoid a repetition," said CCCL in a statement accompanying its year-end results filed with the Jamaica Stock Exchange on the weekend.

"Since this incident, cement dispatched has consistently exceeded all international and local standards."

CCCL’s parent, Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL), has also announced that all its subsidiaries, including Rockfort, have attained ISO 14001: 2004 standard for their environmental management practices.