Trinidad Cement Ltd 1Q13 boosted by higher sales volumes and prices

Trinidad Cement Ltd 1Q13 boosted by higher sales volumes and prices

For the first quarter of 2013, Trinidad Cement Ltd recorded EBITDA of JMD114.2m (US$1.16m), reflecting a significant improvement over the first quarter of the previous year and 74 per cent of the total EBITDA achieved throughout 2012.

Revenue for the quarter increased by JMD117m compared with the prior year as a result of higher cement sales volumes, the group said in a statement. Volumes were up YoY by 52 and 29 per cent  in the markets of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, respectively, while export volumes also rose by 29 per cent. The group also benefitted from higher selling prices in most markets.

As a  result of the significant expenditure made in the latter part of last year, the group said that plant performance has been more reliable and efficient with clinker production  exceeding prior year by 32 per cent (partially due to the TCL strike in 2012) and cement production by 21 per cent.

Finance costs for the 1Q13  increased by JMD13.9m largely as a result of  foreign exchange losses of JMD11.3m arising from the 6.2 per cent depreciation of the Jamaican dollar in the quarter. A stabilisation of the exchange rate is expected in the near term as the government of Jamaica finalises a funding agreement with the IMF.

As a consequence of the above factors, net profit was JMD14.2m compared to a loss of JMD74.9m in the same quarter of the previous year. 

For 1Q13, the group generated net cash from operations of JMD103.8m from which principal and interest payments of JMD70.7m on the restructured loans were made on March 22 following from the first payment of JMD51.3m in  December 2012. Additionally, as at 31 March 2013, the group met the three financial ratio covenants contained in the loan restructuring agreement.

On its outlook the group said that the Trinidad and Tobago market has recorded  very strong demand and it is anticipated this will  continue. While there was declining demand in Jamaica and Barbados, it is hoped that post-IMF agreement, in the former, and general elections, in the latter, growth will return to these markets. In addition, the growth being experienced in Guyana and Suriname and the initiatives by the group in the pursuit of additional export markets, plant efficiency and cost containment, are likely to contribute to the continuation of the good results for the coming months.