Business

Carib to raise cement prices for seventh time since start of 2013

Sunday, June 15, 2014    

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CARIBBEAN Cement Company will increase its prices by an average of three per cent on June 23.

The seventh price increase in 17 months will push prices one-third higher than they were at the start of 2013.

The company has been making adjustment in prices to recover increases in input costs that it has been facing with higher energy costs and a steadily depreciating dollar.

The last price adjusment was done two months ago, when the average price of cement was increased by 1.3 per cent.

Prior to that, an average increase of three per cent was applied to all products

in January. Then, like the previous three price adjustments (2.7 per cent in October, one per cent in July and three per cent in April), it was blamed on the rising input costs.

On January 7, 2013, the weighted average increase in prices was 16.5 per cent. The cement manufacturer said that it needed to adjust prices in order to generate the required cash flows to meet its debt payments.

Carib returned to profitability in its second quarter ending June 30, when it earned $360 million in net income, primarily as a result of debt forgiveness by its parent company.

The company also posted a $170-million net profit for the three months to September 30, 2013, and earned $82 million in the last quarter of 2013.

The cement manufacturer's profit fell even further during the first three months of 2014, when it earned net profit of $35 million.

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