Carib Cement weathers COVID-19 storm

Carib Cement weathers COVID-19 storm

Posts good earnings and profits in third quarter

Friday, October 30, 2020

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Caribbean Cement Company has done what several other listed companies have been failing to do, record increased profits and revenues in despite COVID-19 challenges.

For the quarter under revenue, Carib Cement posted revenues of $5.8 billion, a 32 per cent growth when compared with the corresponding period in 2019. This is coming at a time when economic activity in the country has slowed down.

Earnings before other income and expenses for the period amounted to $2.3 billion, as the cement manufacturer reported increased business for the period. Operating earnings after other expenses totalled $2.2 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion when compared to Q3 of 2019.

The management has attributed this solid performance to “higher volumes sold, prudent cost containment measures and operational efficiencies” that have allowed Carib Cement to keep operational costs and expenses in check despite the increased rate of production.

The company recorded earnings before taxation of $1.8 billion, representing an improvement over the $200 million achieved in the third quarter last year.

In the unaudited interim financial report for the nine months ended September 30, the directors report that the company will continue with its aggressive US dollar debt repayment policy, which has allowed it to reduce financial expenses by $36 million and the company's foreign exchange risk compared with the third quarter of 2019.

They reported that the overall consolidated net income of $1.2 billion was higher than that of the third quarter of 2019 by $1.2 billion. In relation to cash flow, net cash provided by operating activities was $2.6 billion for the quarter and $5.2 billion for the year.

The cash flow generated during the quarter and the available cash at the beginning of the period have allowed the company to reduce debt by $2.6 billion during the quarter and by $4.7 billion for the year to date.

According to the board, “the third quarter of 2020 has shown the resilience of our company and how, through the expertise and commitment of our team, we have been able to withstand the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the threat of COVID-19 in the Caribbean, we mounted a comprehensive response, which has included enhanced safety protocols, customer engagement as well as targeted community support”.

Also on the positive side was the absence of lost time injuries (LTI). The board reported that the company attained 1,100 days without LTI at the plant and 1,924 days at its quarries as of September 30, 2020.

During this period, Carib Cement marked the significant improvement in the safety record of contracted workers, having achieved a milestone of 365 days without LTIs on July 22. Following audits completed this quarter, Carib Cement's ability to meet international standards in quality management, environmental management, and occupational health and safety has again been affirmed by successful retention of ISO 9001-2015, ISO 14001-2015 and ISO 45001-2018 certifications.

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