Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Caribbean Cement scores $1.48b of profit

Published:Wednesday | October 28, 2015 | 10:00 AM

In a robust third quarter for Caribbean Cement Company, the commodity producer reported an eightfold growth at the bottom line to $617 million that was fuelled by stronger sales and lower production costs, as well as a more manageable debt load.

In the nine-month period, the cement maker made $1.48 billion of profit off turnover of close to $12 billion. Last year, the company reported a profit of $25 million.

Caribbean Cement, which is now being run by a Cemex-backed manager, Alejandro Vares, did not disclose the actual volume sales of cement and clinker in the periods under review, as it has traditionally done with other quarterly earnings reports. Instead, the company focused on sales performance.

"Domestic sales volume for the third quarter exceeded the corresponding period in 2014 by 22 per cent, and for the nine-month period was 9 per cent above the volumes in 2014," said Chairman Christopher Dehring and director/TCL Group CEO JosÈ Luis Seijo Gonzalez in the director's statement attached to the financial results.

REVENUEGROWTH

Revenues grew by close to three-quarters of a billion dollars in the quarter to $4.2 billion, and by just over a billion dollars year to date to $11.76 billion. This performance puts the cement company on track to better the $14 billion of record sales revenue recorded in 2014.

Caribbean Cement also reported a 73 per cent reduction in interest charges for the quarter "as a result of the company's financial restructuring initiative, resulting in some prepayments of long-term debt in excess of $800 million," the directors said.

The debt rescheduling happened under a group-wide programme through which parent company Trinidad Cement Limited restructured its balance sheet to shed debt and boost equity. That programme also doubled Cemex's ownership of TCL, with a stake that is just shy of 40 per cent.

Cemex executive Vares was named general manager of Caribbean Cement in May, replacing Anthony Haynes.

The Rockfort, Kingston-based company remains $4.2 billion in debt, while its equity base has grown to $6.4 billion, compared to $4.8 billion a year ago.

business@gleanerjm.com