Chilean cement producer Cemento Polpaico posted a consolidated 10.3bn-peso (US$19m) net profit during January-September this year, down 9.9 per cent compared to the same year-ago period, the company reported in a filing with the country’s securities regulator (SVS). The cement company’s revenues reached 97bn pesos in the period, up 11.8 per cent from January-September 2004. At the same time, operating profit also decreased 16.2 per cent to 14.1bn pesos in the first nine months of 2005 from 16.9bn pesos in same period last year. "These first nine months of the year have shown an increase in sales volume, however, the price of energy and raw materials have increased, which has negatively affected our operational margins," newspaper El Mostrador quoted company CEO Óscar Parada as saying. In the period, Cemento Polpaico increased its market share to 34.8 per cent from 34.4 per cent due to an increase in overall sales, the company said.
Switzerland’s Holcim controls Polpaico, which posted a 14.9bn-peso (US$25.6m) consolidated net profit in 2004, up 45.3 per cent from the previous year, and is one of Chile’s top three cement producers. The company recently announced it would invest US$14m in improving its concrete distribution network and US$7m in an alternative fuel plant by 2006.