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Lucky Cement First-Quarter Profit Doubles on Higher Sales

Lucky Cement Ltd., Pakistan’s biggest producer of the building material, reported first-quarter profit more than doubled on higher domestic prices and a 31 percent jump in sales.

Net income climbed to 1.5 billion rupees ($17.3 million), or 4.66 rupees a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30 from 726.7 million rupees, or 2.25 rupees, a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Karachi Stock Exchange today. Sales rose to 8.71 billion rupees.

Lucky, based in Karachi, raised the price of cement by 15 percent during the quarter to counter an increase in coal prices and other input costs. Reconstruction following last year’s floods boosted domestic sales of cement in Pakistan by 13.6 percent to 3.7 million metric tons in the two months ended Aug. 31, while exports fell 9.5 percent to 1.5 million tons, the All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said on Sept. 22.

“Exports have no price advantage for the company after prices rose domestically,” Furqan Ayub, a research analyst with JS Global Capital Ltd., who has a “buy” recommendation on the stock, said in a telephone interview today after the earnings were announced.

Lucky’s shares fell 0.2 percent to 80.11 rupees as of 3:28 p.m. in Karachi, paring this year’s gain to 5.7 percent.

The company’s domestic sales climbed 21 percent to 819,000 tons, while overseas shipments declined 13 percent.

The worst floods in the 63-year history of Pakistan swept away 4,000 kilometers of roads and 1,000 bridges in 2010, and killed 1,985 people.

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