Caribbean Cement Co. more than tripled its profit in the first quarter of 2016, setting a new earnings record, reported The Gleaner. The $830 million net income for the three-month period improved from the $250 million for the same period in 2015, reflecting depressed energy prices and a return to almost full share of the local cement market.

“Improvements in operational efficiencies, effective control of fixed costs, lower financing costs and lower energy costs contributed to the improved financial performance,” said the company in a report to shareholders.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased from $440 million in the first quarter of 2015 to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2016. EBITDA margin (as a percentage of sales) climbed from 12 percent to 27 percent.

Revenue increased by 11 percent to hit just shy of $4 billion despite export volumes of cement and clinker falling by 53 percent and 56 percent, respectively. Domestic sales volume increased in the region by 24 percent, which was most likely the result of a distribution deal the company secured with Tank-Weld Metals last November.

The construction and building material company began distributing Caribbean Cement's product from its cement-bagging plant at Rio Bueno in Trelawny, exiting the import business, and allowing Caribbean Cement to increase its share of the domestic market from 83 percent last year to currently close to 100 percent.

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