Cement firms post 14% sales increase
Local cement companies posted a 14.3-percent increase in sales last year to 24.36 million metric tons, owing to the increased infrastructure spending by the government and the continued confidence of the private sector in the Philippine economy.
Ernesto Ordoñez, president of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (Cemap), said in a text message to reporters that in the fourth quarter alone, cement sales grew by 16.6 percent to 6.08 million tons, from 5.21 million tons in the same period in 2014.
These increases were also driven by better weather conditions that allowed more construction activities throughout the year, new housing demand and the lack of controversies that could have otherwise hampered government infrastructure spending, he added.
“Capital outlay of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ infrastructure program grew by 43 percent to P274 billion in 2015 from 2014 level. Gross value in public construction in 2015 also grew by 20.9 percent at current prices and 20.6 percent at constant prices,” Ordoñez said.
“On the other hand, gross value in private construction grew by 7 percent at current prices and 5.4 percent at constant prices. Overall, gross value in construction grew by 10.3 percent at current prices and 8.9 percent at constant prices,” he added.
According to Ordoñez, the data showed that the growth of public construction was much faster than private construction last year. This was consistent with the large increase in the DPWH budget for capital outlays.
The private sector remained the biggest customer of cement manufacturers as about two-thirds of the cement being sold in the country were usually taken up by companies for their construction projects, while one third is usually taken up by government agencies for public works. Specifically, Ordoñez noted that the value of private sector construction projects accounted for 76 percent of the total, while public construction value accounted for 24 percent.
Local cement manufacturers are optimistic of sustaining a bullish run this year, with expectations of a strong double-digit growth in sales.
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