Chile’s Cementos Bio Bio posted a 20bn peso (US$32.4m) consolidated net profit in 2003, a 32.8 per cent jump from the year before, Bio Bio 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 profit climbed 24.4 per cent to 28.1bn pesos and revenue was up 12.2 per cent to 146bn pesos. Cement deliveries in Chile grew 4.6% in 2003 to 3.62Mt, the highest since 1998 (3.85Mt) when the country’s economic crisis negatively impacted the sector in the following years, due to large-scale infrastructure projects. In 2003, Cementos Bio Bio, controlled by local group Briones, held a 28.4 per cent market share, while Cementos Melon, controlled by France’s Lafarge, held the top spot at 36.4 per cent.