QNCC recorded net profit of QR425m ($116.7m) in 2012, down from QR456m in 2011. Sales totalled QR964m last year, compared with QR990m in 2011. The reason for the drop in sales and profit was decreased demand for cement and the decision of Qatar Steel to stop lime purchases from June 2011. QNCC is now looking at options to absorb its lime production to avoid future losses.

Despite the dip in demand for cement last year, the long-term prediction is for cement sales in the country to increase strongly. According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, the value of construction awards in Qatar is rising steadily, from $2.5bn in 2009, just before the country won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, to $5.9bn in 2012.

So far in 2013, about $27bn-worth of construction and transport contracts have been awarded in Qatar, with another $21bn scheduled to be signed before the end of the year. The value of awards is set to more than double from 2013 onwards.

The rapid increase in awards and the resulting onsite construction work will strain the materials supply chain. Qatar is expected to face a shortfall of almost 3 million t/y of cement by 2015. As the largest cement producer in the country, QNCC is well placed to take advantage of the increasing demand.