Indocement sees sales volume to increase 4-5 pct next year

Jakarta (Antara News) - PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa, controlled by Germany's HeidelbergCement AG, said it expects its sales volume to grow 4-5 pct next year, after an estimated 2.5 pct rise this year.

"We expect our sales volume to increase by around 4-5 pct next year, supported by an expected pickup in demand (for cement) from the property and construction industries as well as the infrastructure sector," finance director Christian Kartawijaya was quoted by XFN-Asia as telling reporters.

Kartawijaya added that he sees industry-wide cement sales growing to 32-33 mln tons next year from an expected 31 mln this year.

In the first nine months of 2006, he said Indocement's sales volume rose 2 pct year-on-year while industry wide sales fell by around 3 pct.

In the month of September alone, the company's cement sales volume rose 7 pct while industry-wide cement sales rose 2 pct, he said.

"Our sales volume rise indicates that our decision to cut the retail price in the second quarter has helped us regain market share," Kartawijaya said.

Last year Indocement raised cement prices by about 18 pct on average after its input costs rose 20-25 pct following the government's move to scrap its subsidy for industrial fuel buyers from July 2005.

However as a result of aggressive competition and price cutting in Indocement's main markets of Jakarta, West Java and Banten provinces, the company has been forced to follow suit.

Indocement is Indonesia's second largest cement maker with market share of about 30 pct. (*)
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