Jordan's national cement company posted a 43 percent rise in profits, on a 23 percent increase in sales during the first half of the year, it announced Sunday, August 5. In a statement, the company said its net profit rose to $7.7 million in the first six months of the current year against $5.4 million over the same period in the previous year — a rise of 43 percent.
The company attributed the rise to a boost in sales from 1.2 million tons in the first half of 2000 to 1.5 million tons over the same period this year. "The company has managed this year to break into new markets in Africa," director-general Samir Bairakdar was quoted as saying in press reports Sunday.
The company's net profits dropped by 60 percent in 2000, slipping mainly in the second half of the year, following a slump in sales on the Palestinian market, since the start of the intifada or uprising at the end of September, according to the company's annual report for 2000.
In November 1998, the French giant Lafarge bought 33 percent of the Jordanian cement company for $100 million, marking the first sizeable privatization operation in Jordan. Since then, Lafarge has helped develop two cement works for the company at Fhaiss and Rashidiah. ― (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )