EARNINGS of Eagle Cement Corp. fell about 92% in the second quarter as construction work was restricted in Luzon and several areas to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement, Monday, the cement manufacturer said its net profit stood at P128 million in April to June, slumping from P1.7 billion in the same period last year. Net sales during the three months were cut 73% year on year to P1.4 billion.

This brought its six-month net earnings down 61% to P1.3 billion, as net sales were reduced 44% to P5.9 billion.

Construction work was among the many sectors affected by the quarantine to contain the virus outbreak in the country. Eagle Cement had to limit operations during the lockdown period, resulting in its weaker performance.

“These are very difficult times but we remain confident that the economy will recover from this pandemic and emerge stronger,” Eagle Cement President and CEO John Paul L. Ang was quoted as saying in the statement.

The company is planning to engage in “aggressive strategies in pricing and marketing” to help it recover for the remainder of the year.

“The government’s steady push for the completion of major infrastructure projects and the private sector’s readiness to bounce back offer encouraging signs for our company’s prospects moving forward,” Mr. Ang said.

“We continue to expand our production capacity despite the pandemic, underscoring our confidence on the economy’s ability to recover once quarantine restrictions are further eased,” he added.

Eagle Cement currently has three production lines in San lldefonso, Bulacan and a fourth production line under construction in Malabuyoc, Cebu. It is now expanding its Bulacan facility, which will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

Shares in Eagle Cement at the stock exchange fell 24 centavos or 2.34% to P10 each on Monday. — Denise A. Valdez