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Saudi Cement First-Quarter Profit Rises on Higher Demand

Saudi Cement Co., Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest cement producer by market value, said-first quarter profit rose 19 percent as domestic demand grew.

Net income climbed to 210.8 million riyals ($56 million), or 1.38 riyals a share, from 176.6 million riyals, or 1.15 riyals, in the year-earlier period, the Dammam-based company announced in a statement to the Saudi bourse website today. Global Investment House estimated profit of 189 million riyals, while NCB Capital saw it at 185 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Cement sales are growing in the Arab world’s largest economy as the government invests in infrastructure and housing to meet demand from its expanding population of 27 million. Southern Province Cement Co. posted a 19 percent jump to 225.9 million riyals, while Yamamah Saudi Cement reported a 9 percent increase in first-quarter profit to 180 million riyals.

Saudi Cement’s first-quarter profit rose as its “production efficiency was promoted, consumption costs dropped and local demand grew,” according to today’s statement.

Saudi Cement’s shares rose 0.9 percent to 53.75 riyals before the earnings were announced. The stock has gained 7.9 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 8.2 billion riyals.

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