No Urgent Need to Hike the Price of Cement


By Daniel Khoo

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


PETALING JAYA: Lafarge Malaysia Bhd sees "no urgent need" to increase cement prices despite the various cost factors that would come into play this year, said its president and chief executive officer Bradley Mulroney.


"If you have increases in your input costs then we will review that in combination with other factors. We will look, measure and see how we can deal with the efficiencies (first), then investments and profitability. Then we will make the necessary decisions accordingly," Mulroney said at a media interview yesterday.


However, he noted that despite not having the need to increase prices now, these decisions are regularly reviewed every month.


"Other than electricity increase, the devalued ringgit means our coal that is imported just got a lot more expensive.


"We also tend to review everybody's pay every year, so this element increases as well," he said.


"We also distribute a significant amount of our materials by road - and there is a reduction in Diesel subsidies that has an impact on us.


"While we also use rail for distribution and we are also seeing increases from Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd," Mulroney added.


Mulroney also said that the previous financial year 2013 ended Dec 31 saw Lafarge being able to "control costs very well as two plants have had record years in terms of production and efficiency."


"Our plants are operating at even lower cost levels that they did ten years ago.


"This is good news to us as we are pleased on how the overall year has panned out," he noted.