Siam Cement’s net profit likely almost doubled in 2004 from the year before, propelled by rising petrochemical prices, strong demand for cement and one-off gains from a major asset sale. Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate is scheduled to announce its unaudited annual results Wednesday. "We expect Siam Cement to deliver a good result for 2004. Its nine-month performance was quite impressive, thanks to rising product prices and income from its affiliates," said Nasu Chunsom, a fund manager at Aberdeen Asset Management Ltd.
Three analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expect Siam Cement to record on average a THB34.15 billion net profit in 2004, compared with THB19.95 billion in 2003.
Siam Cement’s petrochemical sector performed best while cement sales last year also rose markedly on year on the back of a booming economy and proliferation of construction activity. Cement prices, however, slightly dropped to around THB1750/t on average in 2004, compared with THB1780 in 2003, analysts said.
Siam Cement is likely to maintain its earnings growth momentum this year when petrochemical prices reach their peak cycle. Construction activity is also expected to pick up further thanks to mega-projects planned by the government, and reconstruction in southern tourist resorts that were devastated by last month’s tsunami.