Cement maker PT Semen Cibinong posted a narrower net loss of 217.59 bln rupiah in the first half to June against a loss of 509.48 bln a year ago, mainly due to a fall in foreign exchange losses. The company said its sales surged 27 pct to 1.41 trln rupiah, up from 1. 11 trln a year earlier. Gross profit rose to 129.32 bln from 65.93 bln a year ago. The increase however was insufficient to cover operating expenses which rose 12.52 pct to 150.36 bln from 133.63 bln. As a result, the company still posted an operating loss of 21.04 bln rupiah against a loss of 67.69 bln a year earlier.
As in the previous year, the bottom line was mostly tied to non-operating items. A decline in forex losses to 177.41 bln from 439.18 bln previously, led to a sharp fall in net other charges to 191.86 bln from 441.79 bln a year earlier. (1 usd = 10,395 rupiah)