Carib Cement post fall in Q1 profits

Carib Cement reports lower Q1 profit for 2018

Revenues rose 6 percent in the March quarter this year for Caribbean Cement, compared to the first quarter of 2017 to $4.3 billion, but profit before taxation slipped modestly to $510 million from $528 million last year.
Increased taxation, from $67 million to $176 million dragged profit down to $348 million or 39 cents per share versus $460 million in 2017 or 54 cent per share.
“This performance was mainly driven as a result of the scheduled annual maintenance of Kiln 5 and Mill 5, during February and March of 2018,” the directors reported to shareholders and they went on to state that “our investment in maintenance efforts will no doubt increase our operational efficiencies with the goal of driving exports, in due course.”
Operating cost rose over 2017 by 10 percent to $3.7 billion, at a faster pace than revenues but repairs and maintenance jumped 75 percent to $345 million and staffing cost rose 18 percent to $542 million. Cost is set to fall sharply with the buyback of assets that were leased from Trinidad Cement which will reduce the $3 billion per annum charge that was incurred in this area in 2017.
Net cash generated by operating activities for the period of $856 million, but $1.5 billion was expended on capital improvement, including the installation of a new coal mill. According to management, the coal mill project currently in the final stages, and production is expected by the end of the third quarter of this year. This will continue to contribute to the plant’s operational efficiency and also to a reduction in operating costs. Cash on hand at the end of the quarter amounted to just over $1 billion.
The first quarter results left accumulated losses at $2.9 billion with shareholders’ equity at $9.3 billion. The stock closed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange at $38.51.

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