Siam Cement Quarterly Net More Than Doubles on Sales, Dividend

Siam Cement Pcl, Thailand’s fifth-largest company by market value, said profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter after sales rebounded from flooding a year earlier and dividend income increased.

Net income was 6.91 billion baht ($231.7 million), or 5.8 baht a share, compared with 3.20 billion baht, or 2.66 baht, in the same period a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Siam Cement’s profit slumped in the fourth quarter of 2011 as Thailand’s worst floods in almost 70 years shuttered factories and halted construction projects. Full-year earnings fell 14 percent in 2012 as Europe’s financial crisis and slower growth in China damped demand for chemical products.

“It was a very tough year for petrochemical producers as the economic slowdown in Europe and China depressed the margin,” Veera Vutthikongsirigool, chief investment officer at Krung Thai Asset Management, which oversees about 430 billion baht of investments, said before the announcement. “This will improve in 2013 as those two major economies have recovered.”

Bangkok-based Siam Cement plans to spend 23.2 billion baht on new investments in Southeast Asia to diversify its sources of income. The company will spend 11 billion baht on a cement plant in Indonesia’s West Java, 5.5 billion baht to expand a cement plant in Cambodia and 6.7 billion baht on a new paper plant in Thailand, it said in October.

Siam Cement shares fell 0.9 percent to 454 baht before the announcement, which came during the midday break in Bangkok.

Fourth-quarter profit at SCG Chemicals Co., Siam Cement’s petrochemicals unit, fell 73 percent from a year earlier to 185 million baht, the company said in a statement.

SCG Paper Co., a paper unit, said net income rose 70 percent to 598 million baht. SCG Cement Co. reported a 75 percent increase in profit to 2.1 billion baht.

The group’s fourth-quarter earnings were boosted by a year-end dividend contribution from SCG Investment, it said. Siam Cement’s board has recommended a dividend payment of 6.5 baht per share for the second half of 2012, it said.

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