TPI Polene, Thailand’s third largest cement firm, said on Monday it expected its 2007 revenues to rise up to five per cent as cement demand would pick up in the second half.
The firm, which had 2006 revenues of THB26.3bn (US$755m), has a production capacity of 9Mt and trails Siam Cement and Siam City Cement, a 32 per cent owned unit of Swiss cement firm Holcim .
Cement consumption would rise up to five per cent this year as lower interest rates helped revive property demand and the government planned to start two mass transit projects this year, senior vice president Prasert Ittimakin told reporters.
Thailand used 28-29Mt of cement last year, the company has said.
"Our revenues this year should rise up to five percent in line with prices and volumes. We expect prices to rise slightly this year," Prasert said.
Gross margins for the year would be close to last year’s 23 percent as the firm planned to raise cement prices slightly and aimed to sell 90 percent of its output in the domestic market, where margins were higher, he said.
He did not give a net profit estimate for the year.
Cement and ready mixed concrete accounted for about two-thirds of company revenues last year and plastic resin for most of the rest. TPIPL has a cement plant and also operates a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic resin plant.
It would refinance debt, now about THB9.9bn, this year and expected to cut the interest rate it pays by one percentage point from more than eight per cent now, Prasert said. The company expected to exit rehabilitation this year, he said.
The firm would spend THB600m this year on installing an energy saving waste heat recovery system which would cut energy costs by up to THB500m a year, he said.
The project, to be completed in 2009, would cost about THB1.2bn and would be funded by bank loans, he said.