Saudi Cement Q4 net profit falls 32.8 pct, misses estimates

Byszheng

Updated Mon, 18 Jan 2016 14:14:58 GMT

Saudi Cement reported a 32.8 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, missing estimates as sales fell and it booked an impairment for two kilns.

DUBAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Cement reported a 32.8 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, missing estimates as sales fell and it booked an impairment for two kilns.

The company, one of the kingdom's largest cement producers by market value, made a net profit of 180 million riyals ($48.03 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, down from 268 million riyals in the corresponding period of 2014, it said in a bourse filing.

The average forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters was for a quarterly net profit of 228.4 million riyals.

Saudi Cement attributed its net profit drop to lower sales and booking an impairment for two kilns at its Hofuf plant. It did not provide further details on its sales.

The company had said last month it would book a 66.2 million riyal impairment charge in the fourth quarter after writing off the value of two kilns that will remain out of operation indefinitely at its Hofuf factory.

It is the third successive quarter in which Saudi Cement has reported lower earnings, year-on-year. Construction-related firms have been put under pressure by a sector slowdown following cutbacks in state spending due to lower oil prices.

The company also expects the fuel and electricity price hikes announced in the 2016 government budget to increase its production costs by 68 million riyals ($18.1 million) this year.

($1 = 3.7480 riyals)