This was achieved on the back of a 21% increase in cement sales, which was considerably ahead of the general increase of 8% in the Saudi market as a whole. The firm also produced 378,000 tons of clinker – it did not produce any clinker at all in the previous year.
Fourth-quarter profits increased by 31% to $74m (SR: 277.7m). The company, which operates two cement plants in the Eastern Province, said that the increase in profits was due to an increase in cement and clinker sales within Saudi Arabia "as a result of a rise in local demand".
An analysts' report by National Commercial Bank stated that the results were "better than expectations".
"Net profit in 2012 increased by 32.7% YoY (year-on-year) mainly due to the relatively stronger performance in 1H12 where net profits increased by 45% YoY. Nevertheless, net profits in 2H12 recorded strong YoY growth of 19.9% when compared to the average of 9.8% for companies that reported so far."
Saudi Cement also reopened three old kilns on Dec 22 after a delay for technical reasons. The total capacity of these kilns is just 5% of overall capacity.
Meanwhile, Riyadh-based Yamama Cement grew profits by 11% in 2012 to $216.5m (SR: 818m), which it also attributed to improved demand. However, fourth quarter profits of $46.3m were 9% lower, which the company blamed on lower selling prices, a $4m write-down in the value of its investment in Yemeni Saudi Cement Co and increased Zakat Payments.
Hail Cement Company, a business which listed on the stock exchange last year in order to raise money for a new cement factory, power plant and housing for employees, reported a net loss of $7.1m. The plant is due to open next month.