Cement company Cementos Bío Bío reported 14% YoY sales growth in the first quarter of 2004, due to better exploitation results and lower non-operating losses. The firm reported that cement sales increased 1.4% in the period January-March 2004 compared to the same three months of last year, while concrete sales rose 23.6%.
Sales of lime increased 32.3% "due to greater purchases by mining companies in the north of the country."Bío Bío has a 28.4% market share in the sector, behind the firms Melón and Polpaico. Its can make 2.2 million tons of concrete per year and at present it is only using 50% of its total production capacity. The cement industry does not project very good results after the large works carried out during 2003. The Chilean Construction Chamber projects 1% growth in cement sales. However, Bío Bío said that cement sales would increase 2% during 2004 and expects a positive performance through the year.