Kim Eng has maintained its 'buy' rating on the mainland's biggest cement maker Anhui Conch, despite the central government's bid to cool the overheated economy, slowing fixed asset investment. The broker said AC will survive due to its economies of scale, ability to secure energy supplies and focus on high-grade cement. Kim Eng set a price target of $15.25, based on 12 times the 2005 forecast price/earnings. In the first six months of this year the company's net profit plummeted 88.49 per cent to 91.41 million yuan, despite a 19.12 per cent rise in sales to 4.51 billion yuan. Like other cement makers relying heavily on coal and electricity in production, Anhui Conch saw its coal costs surge 43 per cent and electricity charges increase 7 per cent in the first half. Despite its poor performance in the first half of the year, the company said it was pressing ahead with a capital commitment of between 600 million yuan and 700 million yuan to raise production capacity in the second half. The share price closed at $7.60 on Friday.