Cement producers resume operations
Cement Manufacturers are back to work as the relaxed quarantine measures in parts of the country have started allowing construction work to resume.
Listed companies Holcim Philippines, Inc. and Cemex Holdings Philippines, Inc. told the exchange in separate disclosures that they have restarted operations in their manufacturing plants in Luzon and Davao.
Holcim Philippines, in a statement on Tuesday, said its plants and terminals in La Union, Bulacan, Manila, Batangas and Davao had resumed work following the imposition of a relaxed quarantine.
These facilities were closed since mid-March after the government imposed strict home quarantine measures with the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country. Holcim Philippines’ plant in Lugait, Misamis Oriental maintained its operations to support construction activities in north Mindanao.
“We are ready to continue supporting our partners nationwide as they build important structures and contribute to reinvigorating the economy,” Holcim Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer John Stull said in the statement.
“Our company is also ready to share our expertise (in health and safety) to government and private sector partners to further contribute to the recovery efforts,” he added.
Earnings of Holcim Philippines in the first quarter declined 29% to P501.54 million due to operational disruptions caused by the lockdown.
Cemex, in a disclosure to the exchange on May 20, said it had also resumed operations at its Solid Cement plant in Antipolo City.
“Subject to applicable restrictions that may be imposed by government, (Cemex) shall continue operating within appropriate health and safety guidelines and applying strict hygiene and social distancing protocols across its operations and throughout its value chain,” it said.
The company suspended cement production and delivery of cement products from its Antipolo plant in mid-March due to the lockdown. Its earnings in the first quarter slumped 47% to P89.12 million as a result.
Shares in the two listed companies closed lower on Tuesday: shares in Holcim Philippines shed 17 centavos or 2.19% to P7.60 each, while shares in Cemex slipped four centavos or 2.70% to P1.04 each.
Meanwhile, the local unit of Thailand-based Siam Cement Group (SCG) said its revenues from sales in the first quarter dropped 25% to P3.36 billion due to the Philippines’ lockdown measures.
In a statement, the company said it was able to keep operating despite the pandemic, but global demand was weaker due to lower chemicals prices. SCG’s primary businesses are in cement-building, chemicals and packaging.
Group-wide revenues slipped 6% to P171.69 billion, as better performances from its cement-building and packaging businesses softened the decline in the chemicals business. Group-wide profit dropped 40% to P11.32 billion.
“SCG is able to maintain company operations and production during the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing a full-blown business continuity management plan… The company also leveraged digital infrastructure such as a cloud-based tool to assist employees working from home,” it said.
SCG President and Chief Executive Officer Roongrote Rangsiyopash said the company is now looking at new opportunities in shifting sales to online platforms and using blockchain for procurement, invoicing and payment with partners.
“As the society, our partners and employees face these difficult times, SCG hopes to contribute to the economy by maintaining its strong market performance,” he was quoted as saying.