Philippine sales growth slows

Philippine sales growth slows
Published: 04 January 2000

Philippine cement sales in 2010 likely grew at a slower pace from 2009 which saw increased construction activity to repair the damage caused by Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng, an industry group official yesterday said.

Growth should be expected again in 2011 as the private sector takes on more projects this year, Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) executive director Ernesto M Ordoñez said.

Total sales in 2010 are estimated to have increased by 7%-8% to as much as 15.627Mt from the year-ago figure, a slight deceleration from 2009 when sales grew by roughly a tenth, Mr Ordoñez added.

The industry would have matched the 2009 growth figure if it sustained until December the 10% increase in first to third quarter sales to US$12.054m from year-ago levels, Mr. Ordoñez said.

"But the fourth quarter would not be as strong. We don’t have the statistics yet for the last quarter but I think it will be less than [the same period in] 2009," he said.

The last three months of 2009 were when both the public and private sector scrambled to rebuild infrastructure hit by storms, thus causing cement sales to surge by 17% that quarter, Mr. Ordoñez said.
"Sales in fourth quarter in 2009 were unusually high, so my expectations are of a weakening by late-2010," he said.

Moving forward, cement sales in 2011 will likely "continue to grow" due to increased confidence in the economy and the administration, Mr. Ordoñez said, declining to cite a specific figure for now.

While government spending on public works is expected to flag this year given pronouncements of controlling the budget deficit, the private sector is expected to take up the slack, Mr. Ordoñez said.
Manolito P. Madrasto, Philippine Constructors Association executive director, confirmed that firms and households will be behind much of the construction activity in 2011.

"The private sector will definitely be at the forefront in terms of infrastructure investment as well as real estate development," Mr. Madrasto said in a text message yesterday.

"Public-private partnerships [for infrastructure] should be moving by the second semester while [construction of] housing, office spaces, malls, resorts and retirement homes are expected to continue their growth pattern," Mr. Madrasto said.