Siam Cement sees slower cement demand growth in 2014

BANGKOK Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:47am EST

BANGKOK Jan 30 (Reuters) - Thailand's Siam Cement PCL said it expected 2014 domestic cement demand growth to be lower than the 7 percent posted in 2013 due to slowdown of the government's infrastructure spending as a result of political unrest.

Cement demand grew only 2 percent since the beginning of this year, versus a 6 percent growth in the fourth quarter of last year, Chief Executive Kan Trakulhoon told an earnings briefing on Thursday.

Siam Cement, however, see its petrochemical business as a key earnings growth driver this year thanks to continued recovery in the margins, Kan added.

Earlier, the company 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.

(Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Miral Fahmy)