Chile’s three cement producers Cemento Polpaico, Empresas Melón and Cementos Bío Bío have submitted separate filings to the country’s securities regulator (SVS) reporting first quarter results. Polpaico led 1Q05 shipments with 366,483t, followed by Meló with 359,511t and Bío Bío at 282,222t. In 2004, Melón held the top spot with 1.39Mt, trailed by Polpaico (1.32Mt) and Bío Bío (1.08Mt).
Polpaico (controlled by Holcim) plans to invest US$13m-14m this year, the majority of which will go to advance the implementation of co-processing technology that uses alternative fuels to fire furnaces.
Lafarge Melon’s operations saw 1Q05 net profits drop 7.5 per cent to 7.92bn pesos compared to the same quarter last year due to increased operating and administrative costs. Last month, it submitted the EIS for a US$20m cement grinding plant to national environment authority Conama. Once approved, the plant could begin operations in the first half of 2007.
Locally owned Bio Bio posted a 5.71bn-peso consolidated net profit in the first quarter, up 3.24 per cent from 1Q04, and revenue jumped 79.3 per cent to 72.6bn pesos. Operating profit rose 22.6 per cent to 9.39bn pesos due to increased cement, lime and concrete shipments, as well as reduced costs and spending, and improved management control that have increased efficiency and productivity. Last month, Mexican cement giant Cemex sold its 11.9% stake in Bio Bio for US$65m.