KARACHI: Lucky Cem­ent Ltd posted unconsolidated earnings of Rs2.5 billion for the third quarter (October to December) of the previous year, a stock filing on Friday showed.

The earnings were eight per cent higher compared to year-ago period.

However, according to Insight Securities, the result was below market expectations mainly because of lower-than-anticipated gross margins.

Gross margins declined 660 basis points to reach 22.6pc because of rising input costs. However, its impact was partially offset by an increase in prices, said the brokerage.

Quarterly sales clocked in at Rs20.6bn after rising 31pc year-on-year, attributable to an almost 34pc increase in retention prices.

On a consolidated basis, Lucky Cement’s earnings per share reached Rs20.10 versus Rs18.60 in the same period a year ago because of increased profitability of both ICI Pakistan and Lucky Motor Company.

The company also issued an update on its upcoming projects: the expansion of Pezu plant is likely to achieve its commercial operation in December while a 660-megawatt coal-based independent power plant is nearing completion.

It’s currently under the testing phase and is expected to achieve commercial operation by February.

Its share price declined 2.07pc to Rs680.79 on the stock exchange.

On a consolidated basis, Lucky Cement reported an after-tax profit of PKR 17.15bn, of which Rs4.01bn was attributable to non-controlling interests for the first half ended Dec 31.

This translates into earnings per share of Rs40.66 compared to Rs32.05 a year ago.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022

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