Eagle Cement H1 income down 61%

LISTED Eagle Cement Corp. saw its net profit plunge by 61 percent to P1.3 billion in the first half as net sales for the period dipped 44 percent to P5.9 billion.

In a disclosure, the local cement manufacturer said it posted a net profit of P128 million in the second quarter alone, down from P1.7 billion last year.

Eagle Cement’s net sales likewise dropped 73 percent to P1.4 billion during the quarter.

“These are very difficult times but we remain confident that the economy will recover from this pandemic and emerge stronger. The government’s steady push for the completion of major infrastructure projects and the private sector’s readiness to bounce back offer encouraging signs for our company’s prospects moving forward,” Eagle President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Ang said in the statement.

Ang added that the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic created a “highly competitive” cement market that could squeeze profits.

“More aggressive strategies in pricing and marketing will be undertaken in the remaining half of the year,” he said.

Eagle Cement said its expansion in Bulacan is underway and is eyed to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

The project is seen to increase the firm’s cement production capacity by 1.5 million metric tons (MMT) to 8.6 MMT a year.

“Our balance sheet remains strong and well-capitalized, and the company is well-positioned to take advantage of a rebound in the construction industry. We continue to expand our production capacity despite the pandemic, underscoring our confidence on the economy’s ability to recover once quarantine restrictions are further eased,” Ang assured.

Eagle Cement’s shares shed 24 centavos or 2.34 percent to close at P10 apiece on Monday.

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