Lafarge Pre-Tax Profit Up in Second Quarter


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 (Bernama) -- Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd announced that pre-tax profit for its second quarter ended June 30, 2009, rose to RM90.363 million from RM66.993 million in the corresponding quarter last year.


However, revenue was only marginally higher, at RM630.893 million from RM630.618 million previously, the group said in a statement on Thursday.


For the half-year period, its pre-tax profit rose to RM191.459 million from RM133.286 million in the previous corresponding period as revenue went up to RM1.240 billion from RM1.190 billion.


Despite the contraction in domestic cement demand, the group recorded in the second quarter the same level of revenue as that of the same quarter in the preceding year.


This was attributed to better cement selling prices (domestic and export) and higher cement export.


Cash flow from operations for the half-year period ended June 30, 2009, almost doubled that of the corresponding period last year due to the improved earnings and strong focus on working capital management, the group said.


"The financial performance of the group is very much dependent on the performance of the Malaysian economy and the domestic construction industry," it said.


Lafarge said there may be a moderate contraction in domestic cement demand in Malaysia for the second half of the year.


In addition, with cement demand in the international market remaining soft, its exports are likely to be affected.


The group said it will continue to intensify efforts in improving plant performance with emphasis on safety, cost control and management of working capital to mitigate the negative impact of contraction and a softening international market.


Taking into consideration of the first half-year results, the group is optimistic of achieving a satisfactory performance in 2009.