Saudi Tasnee’s profit drops in Q1 on high costs, falling margins

21 April 2014 10:47  [Source: ICIS news]

KARACHI (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia’s National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) on Monday reported a 9.74% year-on-year drop in its first-quarter net profit to Saudi Riyal (SR) 320.8m ($85.54 m) as it took hits from shrinking margins and higher production costs.

The producer’s gross profit in January to March 2014 fell 5.44% to SR1.3bn, while operating profit fell by 7.87% to SR829.6 m compared to the corresponding three months in 2013, the company said in a statement to Saudi stock exchange.

Tasnee attributed shrinking profit margin in petrochemical sector and higher production cost as reasons behind the company’s performance in the quarter ending March 31.

Tasnee is the second largest industrial company in Saudi Arabia and also the world’s second largest producer of titanium dioxide (Ti02).

In last January Tasnee, Japan’s Toho Titanium Co Ltd and The National Titanium Dioxide Co Ltd (Cristal) agreed to build a $420m plant in the Kingdom that will produce 15,600 tonne/year titanium sponge.

The new facility will start to ramp up commercial production in the second quarter of 2017 with completion in the first quarter of 2018.

A joint venture firm will be set up to undertake the project, in which Toho will have the biggest stake of 35%, while the two Saudi Arabian partners will each have a 32.5% stake.

The company, active in petrochemicals and industrial projects, has also partnered with local petrochemical firms to build a butanol plant in Jubail, due to be completed by May 2015.

By: Aamir Ashraf

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