profits of Saudi cement companies rose 37.1 percent in the first
quarter of 2001 compared to the corresponding period for the previous
year. The profits of the eight firms reached $100 million, up from the
$72.9 million posted in the first three months of 2000.
companies produce about 20 million tons of cement a year, of which 14
million tons is used locally and 4 million tons exported, leaving a
surplus of 2 million tons. While the average price of an equity share
in a cement company in the Kingdom is SR169.6 the dividend rate is
SR3.58 in the first quarter of the year.
profits reflected the health of the construction sector in Saudi
Arabia, where the economy has been boosted by rapidly increasing
In the past few
years the sector suffered some setbacks largely due to the surplus
production and lukewarm construction market.