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SCCC expects delays to hurt demand|for materials in|construction sector

SIAM City Cement (SCCC) forecasts that demand for cement and other building materials will be flat this year, largely because the construction of most major infrastructure projects has been delayed. "In the fourth quarter of last year, the company saw flat volume, both quarter on quarter and year on year. This year, the construction industry may not grow because of delays in large-scale infrastructure projects and private investments," the listed company said in a press release yesterday.

However, the company continued to post growth in revenue and net profit last year.

SCCC reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand that 2013 revenue had come in at Bt29.95 billion, some 13.3 per cent higher than the Bt26.42 billion generated in the previous year.

This was thanks to good demand for cement and other construction materials as a result of public infrastructure projects.

The company also announced a 31.9-per-cent rise to Bt4.79 billion in full-year consolidated net profit, from Bt3.63 billion in 2012.

Earnings per share improved to Bt20.90, against Bt15.80 for the previous year. As a result, the board will propose to its shareholders' meeting in April that the company pay a dividend of Bt15 per share.

SCCC said in its press release that last year's earnings were underpinned by solid demand experienced by cement and other construction-material businesses, due to infrastructure projects, commercial construction activity and real-estate development.

The increase in the electricity tariff rate, maintenance costs and wage-driven cost escalation were abated by improved selling prices and favourable coal prices throughout last year.

As a result, the operating profit margin improved to 20 per cent, from the prior year's 16.7 per cent.


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