UPDATE 1 - Thai TPI Polene sees 2008 revenues rising
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BANGKOK, March 28 (Reuters) - TPI Polene (TPIP.BK>, Thailand's third largest cement firm, said on Friday it expected its 2008 revenues to rise 5-8 percent from last year's 26.9 billion baht ($854 million) due to higher prices.
"LDPE and ethylene prices should be higher and this year's revenues should grow five to eight percent," senior vice president Prasert Ittimakin told reporters, referring to a low-density polyethylene plastic resin.
"For cement, we are seeking government approval to raise the price and our peers are likely to do so," given higher production costs and rising coal prices, Prasert added.
It also aimed to maintain gross profit margins at 23 percent this year as increasing prices would help offset higher fuel costs, he said.
Cement and ready mixed concrete account for about two-thirds of the company's sales in 2007. It has a cement plant and an LDPE plastic resin plant which contributes the rest of its sales.
The company expected to complete its restructuring of 8.4 billion baht of debt this year and would ask the bankruptcy court for permission to leave its rehabilitation programme, Prasert said.
The firm has not set aside money for a 6.9 billion baht fine imposed by a court late last year after it was found guilty of stock manipulation in 2004, Prasert said.
"We will wait until the case reach a final conclusion," he added.
The firm planned to spend 1.1 billion baht this year on building a 36-megawatt power plant expected to save 580-600 million baht per year, he said.
TPIPL shares closed down 1.47 percent at 6.90 baht, while the main Thai index .SETI rose 0.27 percent. ($1=31.50 Baht) (Reporting by Pisit Changplayngam; Writing by Arada Therdthammakun; Editing by Michael Battye)
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