By Asma Alsharif
Increased sales and declining costs pushed Q4r profits up as shares close at $17.7.
Southern Province Cement Co, Saudi Arabia's largest cement maker by market value, said its fourth quarter profits rose by 2.4 percent due to increased sales and lower costs.
Southern Cement made a net profit of $48.27 million in the three months to end December, up from 177 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement on the Saudi bourse website on Tuesday.
In a statement, the firm said: "The reason behind the increased net profit for the fourth quarter is due to increased sales and declining costs."
Southern Cement's operational profits rose by 57 percent to $46.66 million.
The firm's annual net profit for 2009 declined by 7.3 percent to $195.7 million due to declining revenues from investments, the firm said in the statement.
Earnings per share dipped to $1.39 in 2009 from $1.5 a year earlier.
Southern Cement's share price closed at $17.7 on Tuesday, before the profits were announced. (Reuters)