Oman Cement Co posted a 3.1 per cent growth in net profit for the first half of 2013 to RO9.3mn against a net profit of RO9mn in the same period last year, according to the company's filing with the Muscat Securities Market  on Tuesday.
The company's total production and sales declined, mainly as a result of the shutdown of one of its cement mills, with a capacity of 150TPH, for more than a month due to technical problems. However, the company has recommenced production after repairs.
The company produced 1.06mn metric tonnes (MT) of cement during the first half of 2013 against 1.12mn MT produced during the corresponding period of 2012, which is lower by 5.23 per cent.
The company produced a total of 983,367 MT of clinker during the period as against 1.05mn MT during the corresponding period of the previous year.
Oman Cement 's total sales declined 2.6 per cent to RO27.33mn from RO28.06mn.
"We have been directing our efforts to improve our performance with a balanced approach. However, due to a few setbacks affecting our production adversely, we had not been able to reach optimal levels during the second quarter of the year and our efforts at improvement will continue," said Dr Abdullah Abbas Ahmed, chairman of Oman Cement, in the directors' report.
Oman Cement also has plans to set up a ready-mix concrete plant and a consultant has been appointed in this regard.
The company is also in the process of increasing its cement grinding capacity by installing a new mill of 150TPH capacity in the near future and the process of identifying a suitable vendor is in progress and nearing finality.
"The company is confident about the continued demand for cement in the country. With company's well structured pricing policy, we hope that in spite of stiff competition with other cement manufacturers, particulary from neighbouring countries, the company will continue to do well in retaining its market share," added Dr Ahmed.