Siam Cement Group (SCC), the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, yesterday announced that it would pay an annual dividend of 15 baht per share -- the group’s highest ever -- thanks to record high sales and profits. However, the group added that it expects slower growth this year. Chumpol NaLamlieng, the group’s president, said last year’s operating performance recorded dramatic gains compared to the previous year. The full year 15-baht dividend, which is equal to a turnover yield of 5.77 percent, includes a previous 5.50 baht interim dividend paid out in August. The company plans to pay the remaining 9.50 baht in April.
The company’s stunning performance was mainly driven by a sharp surge in world petrochemicals prices, with the group’s petroochemical arm generating the highest income of all business units within the group. Sales from SCC’s other core businesses of pulp-and-paper and cement also recorded strong growth for 2004 compared with the previous year.