Siam Cement expects 2.7% earnings rise, Thailand

Siam Cement expects 2.7% earnings rise, Thailand
Published: 23 October 2006

Siam Cement Plc, the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, is expected to report a 2.7% rise in third-quarter earnings as weak cement demand undermines a strong petrochemical business. 
Petrochemical margins should remain high on tight supply due to capacity expansion delays in Iran, but high energy prices and a slowing construction industry will still weigh on SCC, a barometer of Thailand’s corporate health. 
The construction industry still hopes for long-delayed state infrastructure projects worth hundreds of billions of baht, but analysts worry about delays and the high volatility in oil prices. 
SCC, 30% owned by the Crown Property Bureau, is expected to post a third-quarter net profit of 8.65 billion baht this week, according to an average forecast of nine analysts surveyed by Reuters. 
That would be up from 8.42 billion baht a year earlier, and 13.4% more than a 7.63-billion-baht second-quarter profit. 
"We anticipate a positive outcome, boosted by record spreads on its petrochemical products," Tisco Research analyst Sansanee Srijamjuree said of SCC’s third-quarter earnings. 
Sales are expected to rise an annual 16% to 66.3 billion baht in the quarter, with sales of petrochemicals up 39%, cement down 4% and paper up 4%, Siam City Securities said in a note to clients.