Thailand’s biggest industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement PCL, is expected to cap one of its best years by posting sturdy quarterly earnings due to rising prices for its building materials and chemicals. Analysts say a domestic building boom and an upturn in the global chemicals business cycle mean things will only get better for a company seen as a barometer of Thai corporate health due to diverse interests that include cement and paper.
Brokerages put the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, to be announced this
Wednesday, in the range of 4.3 to 4.9 billion baht ($110.5-125.9m).Itphong Saengtubtim, an analyst at KGI Securities, expects sales of cement, which make up around 35 per cent of the firm’s total revenues, to jump 21 per cent in volume terms from the fourth quarter of 2002 and up five percent on the third quarter. Analysts see Thai cement demand up five per cent to 25Mt in 2004. Siam Cement has about 40 per cent of the market.
Analysts expect the paper and packaging unit, which accounts for about one
third of total sales, to be flat on the previous year. Chemicals also
account for around one third of sales, and volumes are expected to be flat. A 4.9 billion baht group net profit would be flat on Q3 and down five per cent on the same period in 2002 when the firm earned 2.7 billion baht from asset sales. It would take 2003 net profit to 18.87 billion baht, up nearly a third on 2002.