Chilean cement company Empresas Melón (owned by Lafarge) posted a 12.8bn-peso (US$20m) consolidated net profit in the first half, up 11.2% from 1H03, the company said in a filing to the country’s securities regulator (SVS). For the period, revenue grew 2.25% to 71.4bn pesos and operating profit rose 3.59% to 14.9bn pesos. In 2003, Melón posted a 16.6bn-peso consolidated net profit, up 6.68% from the year before.
For the first half of 2004, Melón held the top market share position in regard to shipments with 37.6% (696,423t), followed by Polpaico with 33.5% (620,326t) and Bío Bío with 28.9% (534,268t). Last year Melón held a 38% market share, Polpaico 33% and Bío Bío 30%. The conclusion of large infrastructure projects affected cement shipments in the first half, which fell 0.4% to 1.85Mt compared to 1H03. In 2003, cement shipments in Chile grew 4.6% to 3.62Mt.
Earlier this year, Melón’s CFO Joao Pereira announced that a decision whether to build a new US$20mn cement plant in Coronel, southern Region VIII, or a limestone plant in northern Region III town Vallenar, would be made in September.