Chile’s Cementos Bío Bío posted a 5.409bn-peso (US$8.48m) consolidated net profit in the first quarter, up 13.5 per cent from 1Q03, Cementos said in a statement to the country’s securities regulator (SVS). The increase was due to higher sales and lower operating costs as a result of efficiency and productivity efforts, the company said. For the period, operating profits grew 6.83 per cent to 7.49bn pesos and revenues were up 7.69 per cent to 39.6bn pesos. In 2003, Cementos posted a 20bn-peso consolidated net profit in 2003, a 32.8 per cent rise from the year before. Last month, the cement company formalized the purchase of shares in international ceramics company Cerámicas Industriales (Cisa).
For 1Q04, Bío Bío came in third in regard to market share, with 28.6 per cent, while Cemento Melón came in first with 37.3 per cent, followed by Cemento Polpaico with 34.1 per cent. The conclusion of large infrastructure projects in 1Q04 affected cement deliveries, which fell 3.2 per cent compared to 1Q03. Local cement deliveries in Chile grew 4.6 per cent in 2003 to 3.62Mt.