SCG Philippines sees slower growth this year

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THE Philippine unit of Thai conglomerate Siam Cement Group (SCG) expects sales growth to slow this year, amid continued uncertainties in the global market

“But I think we’re [still] gonna be in the double-digit area, around 10%… top and bottom line,” SCG Philippines Country Director Anuvat Chalermchai said in a press briefing in Makati City.

In 2018, SCG Philippines reported a 26% increase in sales to P18.54 billion, with the cement and buildings unit as the key driver.

Mr. Chalermchai said the SCG group’s business was dampened by high oil prices and the United States-China trade spat last year.

Parent firm SCG Public Co. Ltd.’s net income fell by 19% year on year to P72.865 billion in 2018.

“Uncertainty in the global landscapes continue to exists,” Mr. Chalermchai added.

Nevertheless, the SCG Philippines executive expressed confidence in the country’s economic growth, targeted to reach 7-8% this year.

He cited the May elections and the government’s ongoing infrastructure program as drivers for sales growth this year.

“This year, there’ll be a mid-year election so there’s some extra flow of spending to be injected to the economic environment, and the ‘Build, Build, Build’ is still going forward,” Mr. Chalermchai said.

Meanwhile, SCG Philippines said its unit Mariwasa Ceramics, Inc. will be launching high-quality bathroom sanitary wares under the brand name Fiona.

As for its cement business, Mr. Chalermchai downplayed the impact of the Trade department’s imposition of a provisional safeguard duty on its cement imports, noting SCG’s shipments to the Philippines are “very small” — 200,000 to 300,000 tons compared to the 32 million tons produced across the Southeast Asian region.

SCG is comprised of three core business units namely, SCG Cement-Building Materials, SCG Chemicals and SCG Packaging.

The company has been present in the country since 1993 through its seven subsidiaries namely United Pulp and Paper Company, Inc., SCG Trading Philippines, Inc., Green Siam Resources, Inc., Green Alternative Technology Specialist, Inc., SCG Marketing Philippines, Inc., and Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc. — Janina C. Lim