Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd’s group pre-tax profit for the third quarter ended 30 September 2004 plummeted 60.4 per cent on-year to RM18.602 million (US$4.9 million) due to lower domestic demand, softer selling prices and higher production costs. Group revenue during the current quarter slipped 1.7 per cent on-year to RM454.956 million, it said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.
Lafarge said cement demand has been knocked hard by a slowdown in construction activities due to the shortage in steel bars and the completion of several large infrastructure projects which in turn caused keener competition and lower domestic selling prices. It said construction activities and cement demand are not expected to get better before the end of the year. "Plant performance is expected to improve but efficiency gains are negated by rising fuel prices and other material costs," it said.