Jordan's cement factory profits drop blamed on foreign competition
Jordan's cement factory, one of the country's top earning industries, saw a 38 percent reduction in its net profits for the first half of 2000, Director General Samer Biriqdar said on August 24.
Biriqdar, in a statement received by AFP, said gains for the first six months of the year stood at 4.5 million dinars.
Gross profits were down 19 percent, standing at 12.5 million dinars, he said.
"The decrease in profits is primarily due to a five percent decrease in local sales and a 35 percent decrease in exports over the same period in 1999," the statement said.
Local sales stagnated as a result of a recession that gripped the construction sector, with several major infrastructure projects such as dam building failing to take place.
The drop in exports was blamed on foreign competition and a worldwide increase in cement production.
The Jordan Cement Factories company holds the monopoly on cement production in Jordan.
French cement giant Lafarge bought 33 percent of Jordan Cement in November 1998 for $100 million, in what was considered the first major privatization in the Hashemite kingdom.
Since then it has contributed to developing the company and upgrading its two factories in Fheiss and Rashadiya, which exported 641,718 tons of cement in 1999, a statement said earlier this year.
Fifty-one percent of the production went to the Palestinian territories, which the company sees as one of its key markets. - (AFP)
Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)