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Caribbean Cement returns to profit after 12 quarters of loss

World Cement,

After a prolonged period of diminished returns, Caribbean Cement Company Limited, Jamaica, has made a return to profit in its latest quarterly results. Caribbean Cement’s sales to the local market in 1H13 amounted to 302 000 t, an increase of ~19 400 t on last year’s levels. In the June quarter, a surge in local sales and a new export market in Panama pushed revenue above J$3 billion.

Exposure to currency risk dampened results, but the Jamaican cement company managed net profit of J$359 million in the June quarter. General Manager Anthony Haynes told Wednesday Business “We are at a nexus…We’ve been through a torrid, and horrid, time.” He added that the rise in sales is as a result of increased market share rather than an improving market.

Caribbean Cement has suffered over the last few years as the local construction market was hit by recession at a time when the plant had undertaken a costly expansion project. Its last quarterly profit came in March 2010. Since that time, it has seen 12 quarters of loss. It has also been burdened by a US$75 million debt to its parent company, Trinidad Cement Limited, which has now been restructured, to minimise the foreign exchange risk and improve Caribbean Cement’s bottom line.

Looking ahead, the company is keen to reach new markets in South America and hopes to enter the Venezuelan market soon.

Edited from various new sources by Katherine Guenioui.

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