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Siam Cement to pay dividend

Siam Cement, Thailand“s largest conglomerate, has announced that it recorded a pretax profit of THB 7.63 billion for the year ending December 2001, and will pay a dividend for the first time in five …

Siam Cement, Thailand“s largest conglomerate, has announced that it recorded a pretax profit of THB 7.63 billion for the year ending December 2001, and will pay a dividend for the first time in five years since the Asian economic crisis started in 1997. The three core businesses focussed upon since the Asian crisis made contributions, and while revenues for petrochemicals were down, they increased 31% on a net profit basis. The Siam Cement Group had been promoting a strategy of diversification from cement into chemicals, paper and construction materials, but the group was severely affected by the impact of the Asian economic crisis triggered by the depreciation of the baht in July 1997, and recorded large losses. The company was quick to start restructuring which involved cutting loose non-strategic divisions, and focusing on the three strategic divisions of cement, paper and petrochemicals. Of the three core businesses, cement showed growth in sales of only 9.4% from 2000, but net profit was turned around from a loss of THB 12 million in 2000 to a profit of THB 859 million in 2001. Profit for the paper business was up by 16%, and while petrochemical revenues were down by just under 4%, net profit was up by over 30%.

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