Cement maker PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa said it may not distribute dividends from last year’s profit as it gives priority to repaying debts. Company finance director Christian Kartawijata said the final decision, however, will be made in a shareholders meeting on June 16. Last time the company distributed dividends was in 1997. In the wake of the crisis, which badly hit the company, it was left with debt swelling to US$1.1bn.
The company formerly owned by the Salim Group was put under control of the Indonesian bank rescue agency IBRA but its debt to the government was settled after HeidelbergCement acquired it. By the end of 2004 its debts were estimated to total US$400m. Last year the company posted an operating profit of Rp836 billion up from Rp814 billion a year earlier. Its sales rose to Rp4.6 trillion from Rp4.1 trillion a year before.