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Wed 10 Oct 2007 10:49 AM

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Yamamah Cement rides building boom

Saudi Arabia's second-largest cement maker sees Q3 net income surge 57% to $61mn on higher sales.

Yamamah Cement, Saudi Arabia's second-largest cement maker by market value, said third-quarter profit surged 57% on higher sales, beating most analysts' forecasts.

Yamamah made a net profit of 228.4 million riyals ($60.91 million) in the three months to September 30, the company said in a statement on the Saudi bourse website on Wednesday.

Forecasts for Yamamah's profit ranged from 171.58 million riyals to 248 million riyals, according to a Reuters survey last month. The company beat three of the four forecasts.

Operating profit in the nine-months to September 30 jumped 24% to 604.1 million riyals, the company said. Earnings per share in the nine months rose to 4.48 riyals from 3.63 riyals in the year-earlier period.

The company sold more cement after expanding its plants, Yamamah said, without giving details.

Demand for cement is surging in Saudi Arabia, where the government is trying to tap a regional economic boom triggered by a quadrupling of oil prices in the past six years to develop infrastructure, industry and tourism.

By the end of last week more than $365 billion of projects had been announced in the kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter, according to London-based Middle East Economic Digest. - Reuters

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