Fri | Jun 18, 2021

Caribbean Cement profit triples in March quarter

Published:Wednesday | May 5, 2021 | 12:22 AM
Yago Castro, general manager of Caribbean Cement Company Limited.
Yago Castro, general manager of Caribbean Cement Company Limited.

Caribbean Cement Company Limited, the maker of Carib Cement, recorded $1.5 billion of profit in the March quarter, which is three times the earnings recorded in the comparative 2020 period.

The quarter’s outstanding performance already puts the company halfway towards matching the $3.2 billion of profit made over the entire 2020 year. Its outlook on the construction sector and demand for cement remains positive.

Caribbean Cement focused on customer orders, efficiencies, expense controls and risk management during the quarter.

“This effort has resulted in another quarter of growth, with the month of March yielding a record production of more than 100,000 metric tonnes of cement. For this, we commend all employees for their outstanding dedication and expert management of the plant and processes,” according to a joint statement from Chairman Parris Lyew-Ayee and General Manager and director Yago Castro.

The increased investments in the plant over the years allowed it to meet the increased demand emerging from the trade, despite the pandemic.

Revenue in the quarter totalled $5.97 billion, up 31 per cent from $4.55 billion a year earlier. Net profit, at $1.5 billion, or $1.79 per share, was a 215 per cent improvement on the $483.2 million, or 57 cents per share, earned in the prior period.

“Domestic demand remains strong. Our company has demonstrated resilience, and our management team employed the strategic planning necessary to meet the unexpected spikes,” said the company directors.

The positives include the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, reopening of other sectors of the economy, and the buoyancy of the construction sector.

The rise in profit came with an increase in operating cash flow at $2.27 billion, twice the levels of a year ago, and net cash flow of $754.6 million, up from $348 million.

At the end of the first quarter, Caribbean Cement reported that it achieved 1,288 days without lost-time injuries at the Rockfort plant in Kingston, 2,106 days at its quarries, and 618 days among its contractors.

Caribbean Cement earlier this year announced plans to invest around $1.5 billion in capital projects annually, over the next five years, to keep pace with expected rising demand for the construction material.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com