Argentina’s second largest cement company Juan Minetti, controlled by Holcim, posted a 40.8m peso (US$13.8m) consolidated net profit in the first nine months of the year, down 59.7 per cent from the same period last year. For the period, net sales rose 32.6% to 357m peso on a 26% increase in portland cement sales and operating profit grew 32.8% to 121m peso. Still, exchange rate differences on the company’s debt impacted the bottom line, the company said in a filing to the country’s securities regulator (CNV). In 2003, increased sales and a successful financial restructuring helped Minetti post a 121m-peso net profit, recovering from a 210m-peso net loss the year before. The company’s cement sales reached 1.64Mt in 2003, up 26.5% from 2002.
According to Juan Minetti, future perspectives regarding cement and concrete shipment levels are directly related to the government’s ability to implement action plans to reactivate the economy. The cement maker also looks forward to Argentina’s ability to generate basic conditions for the reappearance of credit and investment while achieving an increase in consumer confidence.