Indonesian cement consumption grew 13.6 percent in August to 2.88 million tonnes compared with the same period a year ago, according to data from the country’s largest cement maker, PT Semen Gresik Tbk. Monthly cement sales are closely watched by financial markets as an indicator of building activity and consumer demand, the key driver of economic growth in Indonesia. The data also showed Gresik’s domestic sales grew 13.3 percent to 1.25 million tonnes in August. The August national sales figure would bring Indonesian consumption for the first eight months of this year to 19.36 million tonnes, a rise of 8.6 percent year on year. State-run Gresik, 25.5 percent owned by Mexican cement giant Cemex, controls nearly 45 percent of total national sales so far this year. Domestic sales grew by only one percent in 2003 to 27.5 million tonnes, hurt by rises in fuel and utility prices.
Some analysts have said that domestic cement sales will rise eight percent this year, helped by property projects and other spending linked to the country’s parliamentary and presidential elections.
Egyptian Suez Cement H1 2004 CORP
Egyptian cement maker Suez Cement posted a non-consolidated net profit of 122.94 mln Egyptian pounds ($19.7m) for the first half of 2004, up 279.6 pct year-on-year. The company’s operating revenue rose 52.8 pct to 419.3 mln pounds ($67.4m) and the cost of goods sold increased 22.9 pct to 242.5 mln pounds ($39m). Gross profit increased to 176.8 mln pounds ($28.4m) from 77.05 mln pounds ($12.4m).