Siam Cement (SCC) Thailand, is set to report flat quarterly earnings from a year ago but a 20 per cent slump from the previous quarter on softer petrochemical prices and high fuel costs. But the second-half prospects for the firm, seen as a barometer of Thai corporate health due to its diverse interests ranging from cement, petrochemicals to paper and a staple in foreign portfolios, were brighter, analysts said.
"The second quarter is a poor one for SCC due to seasonality, chiefly the arrival of the rainy season and softening commodity prices," Bualuang Securities analyst Natachuta Guptarak said in a note to clients.
Cement sales were expected to rise an annual 17 percent in the quarter, but the gross margin was likely to fall to 34 per cent in the second quarter from 38 per cent a year earlier due to higher fuel costs, Bualuang said.
For the year, Siam Cement is forecast to see its total earnings fall to 34.4 billion baht from last year’s record 36.5 billion baht, according to 15 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.