Argentina’s second largest cement company Juan Minetti posted a 23m-peso (US$7.97m) consolidated net profit in the first quarter, down 20.1 per cent from 1Q04, Minetti reported to the country’s securities regulator (CNV). Although net sales rose 18.2 per cent to 131m pesos, increased sales and operating costs offset the gain, with operating profit dipping 2.57 per cent to 45.5m pesos.
In 2004, Minetti posted a 60.9m-peso consolidated net profit, down 49.6 per cent from the previous year, and cement and clinker sales grew 26.7 per cent to 2.39Mt. Swiss cement giant Holcim controls Minetti, which foresees a "favorable panorama" in the construction sector this year due to the economy’s performance last year. Loma Negra is Argentina’s largest cement producer.