Middle East cement sector posts rise in revenue

cementCement companies in the Middle East witnessed a 24.3 per cent increase in revenue to US$1.26bn in Q1 2012, according to a Global Investment House report

The boom has been accredited to increased construction activity in certain parts of the region.

The industry's profits rose to US$435.6mn in Q1 2012, compared to US$359.5mn for the same period in 2011, representing growth of 21.2 per cent. According to the report, however, net margins suffered a fall during the period.

The UAE and Oman reported higher revenues due to the better operating environments in both countries. Sales revenue of UAE firms increased by 7.7 per cent to US$258mn, bringing gross margin back to double digits at 10.5 per cent.

Rizwan Sajan, chairman of Danube Building Materials, said that the UAE construction industry had started to pick up.

"The second quarter of this year was much better than the first quarter on positive signs in the UAE," Sajan said.

Omani companies witnessed a 16.7 per cent increase in revenue to US$100.3mn, while Saudi Arabia achieved strong growth of 34.7 per cent in revenue, outperforming the UAE, Qatar and Oman.

It is expected that Saudi Arabia's cement demand will strengthen in 2013, with US$24bn of transport projects under way in the country or in the pipeline.

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