File picture: A workman at the TCL plant in Claxton Bay.

The Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) Group has recorded $446 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 24 per cent over 2020’s second quarter.

In its condensed consolidated unaudited interim financial report for the six months ended June 30, 2021, the group explained that on a year-to-date basis, it recorded consolidated revenue from continuing operations of $939 million, 21 per cent higher than the same period in 2020.

It said this increase was mainly due to higher cement sales volumes across the region.

Stronger market demand primarily drove increases in Jamaica, whereas in the cases of Guyana, T&T and Barbados—these markets were severely affected by measures taken by governments to restrict the spread of COVID-19 during the period under review, TCL explained.

It also noted that this performance was achieved despite the construction industry in T&T being closed for seven weeks during the second quarter.

The TCL Group’s adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) of $117.2 million in the second quarter of 2021, reflecting an increase of 16 per cent compared with Q2 2020.

It adjusted EBITDA for the first half of 2021 closed at $245.1 million, 26 per cent better than the same period in the prior year.

This growth, TCL said, reflected improved sales volumes and the positive impact of operational efficiencies attributable to its recent investments in equipment as well as key operational processes.

During the second quarter of 2021, the TCL Group generated $35.4 million in cash, a 45.9 per cent reduction from the prior a year ago.

This reduction was due to an increase in inventory balances and the settlement of balances with suppliers in Jamaica, the company said.

The TCL Group also invested $21 million in the quarter under review in critical capital expenditure and repaid $66 million towards its long-term debt.

During the first half of 2021, the Group also reduced debt through repayments of $89 million.

Further, it reported a net income of $37.6 million in the second quarter of 2021, compared to $0.3 million in the same quarter in 2020.

This increase was mainly driven by increased revenues coupled with an $18.4 million reduction of financial expenses and exchange losses arising from the repayment of US$-denominated borrowings in Jamaica.

In its outlook TCL Group said based on the favourable financial results to date and its assessment of market demand, it is more optimistic about the outlook for the rest of the year. Nevertheless, TCL said the continued resurgence of COVID-19 infection rates in various territories and resulting government-mandated restrictions remain a concern and may ultimately impact its financial results.

The outlook for the business will depend on the rate of vaccination, the achievement of herd immunity, the emergence of new waves of infection and the extent of government restrictions in response, it added.

In addition, TCL said it is closely monitoring the expected resumption of public works and infrastructure expenditures, and the continued resilience of the retail segment that has driven the demand for its products in the last months.

“Management and the board continue to develop plans to address possible demand scenarios and respond to the ongoing pandemic,” the company said.