Indonesia: PT Indocement, the second-largest cement producer in Indonesia, has reported a poor quarterly result amid stiff competition and lower cement prices. Its profit for the first quarter of 2017 was down by 53.8% to US$37.5m, despite the fact that its revenue only fell by 14.1% to US$248m.
Indocement president director Christian Kartawijaya attributed the slump to tight competition in the domestic market from other producers, such as Karawang-based PT Jui Shin and Banten-based PT Cemindo Gemilang, which frequently sell cement at lower prices. "The profit decline is inevitable amid very tight competition. Meanwhile, the cake is getting smaller, so we've experienced the decline in profits and revenue," said Christian.
Indocement, a part of major diversified conglomerate Salim Group, also cited persistent cement oversupply in the domestic market this year, while demand was estimated to rise by only 5% year-on-year to 65Mt. This pushed down the cement price by 12% in the January-March period compared to the first quarter of 2016. "As long as there is an oversupply, we can't avoid a price war," Christian added.
Despite a gloomy outlook throughout this year, the company has still earmarked a sizeable US$128m sum for capital expenditure for expansion, although the figure is still 5.9% lower than 2016. Its key projects include the development of cement terminals and cement packaging terminals in Sumatra and other undetermined sites. Christian also said Indocement would also go ahead with its plan to construct a cement factory in Pati, Central Java, which is subject to public controversy because of claims that there is no legal basis to execute it.