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Pakistani cement producers report increased profits

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World Cement,

Maple Leaf Cement

Maple Leaf Cement has posted profit after tax of Rs.545 million for the June  - September quarter, 1Q15. Sales grew 6.2% y/y to Rs.4.5 billion thanks to a 9% growth in dispatches compared to 1Q14. In terms of volumes, the company sold 0.6 million t of cement in the quarter. However, net earnings declined 2% due to increased taxes.

Kohat Cement

Kohat Cement recorded net profit of Rs.683 million for the quarter, up 11% y/y, with sales volumes up 5% y/y. Sales revenue was also up 11% at Rs.2.9 billion, thanks to higher cement prices as well as increased volumes.

An increase in electricity prices caused a decline in gross margins. The company is installing a 15 MW waste heat recovery plant, which is expected to bring operational costs down when it goes online at the end of this fiscal. The resultant energy produced should meet 30% of the company’s requirements. The total project cost is put at Rs.2 billion.

Keeping up with technical developments

A recent report in the Express Tribune, suggested that Pakistan’s cement industry lacks innovation in terms of cement quality, despite its worldwide popularity. Nabeel Asghar from Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) told the newspaper that ‘there is a dire need to introduce new cement qualities in Pakistan for better efficiency and cost reduction’. The company operates a subsidiary, Cement Research and Development Institute, which primarily tests cement for quality certifications, but has started testing samples to introduce blended cements to the market. Asghar suggests that Pakistan is falling behind in this regard. The article also suggests that the industry lacks manpower to enhance quality.

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