Thai top builders expect a better year in 2009

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Workers at ITD’s production centre in Delhi are seen working on moulds for making concrete segments of a metro tunnel. ITD through its subsidiary, ITD Cementation India Ltd, has been awarded by Delhi Metro Rail Corp a contract to construct the metro tunnel for a distance of seven kilometres.

Thailand’s two leading construction firms are expecting a better year with satisfactory profits for this year’s operations.

Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), Thailand’s largest builder which on March 3 reported a net loss of nearly 2.66 billion baht for 2008 operations, yesterday said it should return to profit this year during which its overseas projects, particularly in India, would have lower construction costs and new domestic projects are expected.

ITD’s president Premchai Karnasuta said this year’s revenues are likely to be around 43 billion baht, similar to 43.7 billion baht of last year’s, while the company’s project backlog would be about 212 billion baht this year.

The company recorded the revenues of 40.53 billion baht with a net loss of almost 2.14 billion baht in 2006 and the revenues of 46.55 billion baht with a net profit of 1.01 billion baht in 2007.

According the company’s financial statements submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on March 3, ITD said last year’s gross profit was 654.62 million baht, a huge decrease of 79.80 percent from that of 2007, and cited the gross losses from its joint ventures undertaking overseas projects, including Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric dam project in Lao PDR and the West Bengal project in India and subway station project in Taiwan, as the main reason.

In addition, the company was also hit by foreign exchange losses of some 294.22 million baht, a increase of about 78.7 percent from 2007, from some subsidiaries and joint ventures, such as Italthai Marine Ltd, PT Thailindo Bara Pratama Co., Ltd., ITO Joint Venture and ITD Cementation India Ltd.

Meanwhile, the country’s second-largest construction firm Ch Karnchang Plc (CK) recently said its 2009 net profit should be higher than 544.74 million baht, from the revenues of 14.5 billion baht, in 2008, with help from rising revenues and lower construction costs.

CK’s president Plew Trivisvavet told reporters that the company expects to win up to 10 billion baht of new construction projects this year to add to the existing projects worth about 12 billion baht for this year’s operations.

Earlier in January, CK and its joint venture partner Tokyo Construction Ltd has won a bid of the construction of a part of the Purple Line mass transit project, worth about 17 billion baht, which Plew said his company is expected to sign a contract with project owner, the State Railway of Thailand, for the construction of the mass transit line within the next few months.

CK recorded the revenues of 21.6 billion baht with a net loss of 1.2 billion baht in 2006 and the revenues of nearly 14.92 billion baht with a net profit of 14.54 million baht in 2007.

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