Trinidad Cement Ltd. (TCL) recorded group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment and restructuring costs of $313 million compared to $464 million in 2016, according to the Trinidad Guardian.

TCL Chairman Wilfred Espinet told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that the group incurred significant costs from manpower, stockholding and inventory restructuring, and impairment of assets in Barbados. Collectively the impact of these expenses was a reduction in net income by $234 million, resulting in an operating loss of $49 million versus an operating profit of $224 million in 2016.

Espinet said the increase in ownership by Cemex in January 2017 was the most significant development in TCL’s recent history, placing the Caribbean’s sole cement manufacturer on a stronger, more sustainable trajectory for growth and competitiveness.

Managing Director Jose Luis Seijo Gonzalez said TCL’s total revenue of $1.7 billion was negatively affected by a 27 percent reduction in revenue in Trinidad & Tobago, primarily due to continued subdued economic and construction activity.

Revenue in Jamaica increased by 10 percent as that country’s economy continues to progress. In Barbados, there was a 14 percent increase in revenue as some local market share was recovered.

Projections for the future include a continued slowdown in construction activity against a backdrop of increased competition, particularly for Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados. However, the group remains optimistic that through integration with Cemex there will be improved operational efficiencies.

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