ARM profit jumps in first nine months of 2012 amid regional growth forecast

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Kenya: ARM Cement (formerly known as Athi River Mining Ltd) has posted a net profit of US$9.71m for the first nine months of 2012. This marks a 328% growth in profit compared to same period in 2011 when it made US$2.26m. ARM's turnover has climbed by 29% to US$90.7m, driven primarily by higher sales of its Rhino Cement brand.

ARM Cement Ltd received US$50m from the African Finance Corporation (AFC) to partly fund a plant in Tanzania as well as expansion efforts into the region. Rhino Cement, which is ARM's flagship brand, was launched in Tanzania in October 2012.

"(The Tanzanian launch) will contribute to the group revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012," said the company in a statement. The statement further explained that construction at a 1.2Mt/yr clinker plant in Tanga is progressing to schedule. ARMs' overall outlook remains optimistic for the immediate future with expectations of growth in demand for Rhino Cement and other products.

Meanwhile, Standard Investment Bank (SIB) has announced that, since 2007, the cement industry players in east Africa have invested over US$500m into capacity expansion projects in the region. This investment has seen cement grinding capacity in the region increase by 65.8% over the same period to 10.4Mt/yr, a figure that SIB expects to further increase by 41.8% to 14.76Mt/yr by 2015.

Between 2001 and 2010 total cement traded across the East African Community jumped from 0.45Mt/yr to 2.18Mt/yr. Kenya remains the region's largest net exporter with 0.61Mt in 2010, up from 0.23Mt in 2002. Rwanda is the largest net importer with 0.21Mt in 2010.

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