Indonesia’s PT Semen Cibinong said its first quarter to March net loss widened to 138.94 bln rupiah, up 31 per cent from its net loss of 105.67 bln rupiah a year earlier because of higher operating expenses. Semen Cibinong said its first quarter sales rose by 24 pct to 672.75 bln rupiah from 540.82 bln rupiah a year before. The company managed to reduce the cost of goods sold to 15.14 bln rupiah from 15.59 bln rupiah in 2004, but general and administration expenses rose to 62.98 bln rupiah from 50.54 bln rupiah.
Cement producers faced higher operating costs after the government raised fuel prices by an average of 29 pct on March 1. In consequence, Semen Cibinong’s operating loss rose to 43.19 bln rupiah from an operating loss of 34.02 bln rupiah in the first quarter of 2004. Its bottom line was further pressured by higher net other charges which stood at 95.74 bln rupiah against 71.64 bln rupiah a year earlier. This was mainly attributable to higher foreign exchange losses of 74.77 bln rupiah from 62.25 bln rupiah and higher interest and financing charges of
17.98 bln rupiah against 11.10 bln the year rupiah before, it said. (1 usd = 9528 rupiah)