Cement producer PT Semen Padang, a wholly-owned unit of state-run PT Semen Gresik, said it expects its net profit to rise to 109 bln rupiah this year from last year’s 62 bln on the back of higher production and following the management’s settlement of a dispute with workers. Semen Padang said in a published statement that it aims to raise its cement output by six per cent this year to 5.2Mt from 4.95Mt in 2004. "The management of Padang)is optimistic that the 2005 targets can be achieved because the internal consolidation process is considered as done," the company said. Semen Padang workers protested a management reshuffle by the government back in June 2003.
Its new management was only able to get into the company in September that year following a court ruling that prompted workers to end their protest. "The parties that had different views now understand the management’s intention and both sides can return to their roles and respective functions, " Semen Padang finance director E. Irzal said in the statement. Parent firm Semen Gresik has yet to release its audited 2004 financial report as the audit on one of its cement units is still in process.