BANGKOK Jan 30 (Reuters) - Thailand's Siam Cement PCL reported a 19 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, beating forecasts, as a recovery in petrochemical margins outweighed the impact of domestic political unrest on the company's cement business.
Net profit for the company, whose results are widely seen as a barometer of Thailand's corporate health, was 8.2 billion baht ($249 million) for the October-December quarter, up from 6.91 billion baht a year earlier and the 6.6 billion baht estimate of nine analysts polled by Reuters.
The petrochemicals unit accounts for about 27 percent of the company's profit. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from the unit was up 198 percent in the quarter, compared to a 27 percent increase from the cement business, the company statement showed.
Siam Cement, Southeast Asia's second-largest cement maker, also posted a 56 percent year-on-year increase in its 2013 net profit to 36.7 billion baht, thanks to recovery of chemical margins and higher domestic demand of cement products. (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Miral Fahmy)