Danish engineering group FLSmidth, is seen returning to profit after growing demand for new cement capacity from North America, Africa and the Middle East eased competition and boosted profitability last year.
The average forecast in a Reuters poll of five analysts of full-year 2005 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was DKr345m (US$54.77m) compared to an operating loss of DKK196m in 2004.
FLSmidth is riding wave of increasing demand for cement and won a contract to deliver a plant in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri from Switzerland’s Holcim in February. The plant will include the largest single clinker line in the world.
The group, a leading provider of equipment, systems and services for the cement and minerals industries, has significant sales in the Middle East but earlier this month said it had not yet been affected by boycotts against Danish firms in Muslim countries in the wake of a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
It has forecast full-year 2005 operating profit between DKK300-340m and pretax profit in the range of DKK400-440m.
In 2004, FLSmidth sold its cement and ready-mixed concrete subsidiaries to Italy’s Cementir S.p.A. for 4.4 billion crowns, opting to focus on its engineering business.