Business

Cement prices up again next month

Sunday, December 22, 2013    

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Caribbean Cement Company will increase prices by an average of three per cent come January 2.

The fifth price increase in 12 months will push prices 28.2 per cent higher than they were at the start of 2013.

The company said the adjustment in prices is being done to recover increases in input costs that it has faced over the past few months.

The most recent increase was in October, when an average increase of 2.7 per cent was applied to all products. Then, like the previous two price adjustments (one per cent in July and three per cent in April), it was blamed on the devaluing dollar.

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.

"As we move forward into a new year, we wish to express our gratitude to you for your support during 2013," the cement maker's General Manager Anthony Haynes wrote in a statement to customers. "Indications are that the Jamaican economy has moved back to positive growth.

"For the first time since 2010, the US, Japan, the Euro Zone and the UK are all set for synchronised growth. All this augurs well for the New Year, reduced volatility and sustained growth."

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