Cimpor's turnover rose by 3.6% to €1741.8m in the nine-month period, while the EBITDA edged up by just 0.9% to €479.21m. Somewhat lower depreciation and amortisation charges allowed the trading profit to improve by 2.2% to €305.4m. Net financial charges were 2.3% higher at €49.2m, leaving the pre-tax profit 2.2% higher at €256.3m. The tax charge, which had risen year ago, came down by 13.6% to €65.1m. After a higher minorities charge, the net attributable profit was 6.1% higher at €180.1m. Net debt at the end of September was 1.9% lower than a year earlier at €1627m, giving a gearing level of 81.2%, compared with 78.8% a year earlier. Group cement and clinker shipments were 2.5% lower at 20.8Mt, as volume reductions of almost 20% in Portugal and of in excess of 15% in Spain and in Egypt, could not fully be recovered by increases elsewhere, notably in Brazil and Turkey. Unlike in cement, downstream volumes increased, by 11% in aggregates and by 2.9% in ready-mixed concrete.
The Portuguese turnover declined by 13% to €298.8m and the EBITDA fell by 23.7% to €84.1m, to account for 17.6% of the group total. Cement and clinker sales fell by 19.8% to 2.9Mt in response to weaker domestic demand and reduced clinker exports to Egypt. As a proportion of the group's cement volume, Portugal's share fell from 16.2% to 13.6%. In Spain, Cimpor's cement volumes declined by 15.5% to 1.89Mt. The Spanish turnover was down by 8.2% to €195.8m, but the EBITDA did recover by 10.7%, after the previous year's 32.1% drop, to reach €26.1m.
Brazil further increased its lead as the largest contributor to cement volume, turnover and profit. The cement output in Brazil accounted for 20% of the group's total. Brazilian cement volumes rose by 7.4% to 4.3Mt and imports are continuing to be needed until capacity increases can satisfy the growing demand. Turnover in Brazil rose by 18.1% to €526m, helped by higher prices and growth in the concrete business. The EBITDA improved by 15.6% to €165.7m, boosted also by a stronger currency.
The Egyptian turnover fell by 29.1% to €127.1m as cement deliveries declined by 15.4% to 2.42Mt and prices weakened in an increasingly-competitive environment. The EBITDA dropped by 41.3% to €40.3m. In Morocco, cement deliveries improved by 4% to 0.91Mt. The turnover advanced by 3.44% to €75.5m, but the EBITDA came off by 11.4% to €29.2m as a result of a new competitor entering the market. The Tunisian cement volume eased by 0.1% to 1.32Mt, but the turnover improved by 8.1% to €63.6m though the EBITDA was just 2% higher at €18.2m. Turkey continued to show good growth, with volumes advancing 8.7% to 2.32Mt and the EBITDA forged ahead by a further 34.8% to €23.8m on a turnover that improved by 15% to €127.1m.
South African cement shipments improved by 5.7% to 0.94Mt, but there was some pressure on prices as the company tried to keep imports at bay. Turnover improved by 2.9% to €114.9m, with the EBITDA easing by 1.8% to €45.2m. In Mozambique, cement volumes improved by 7.8% to 0.7Mt, the second best growth rate after Turkey. The EBITDA jumped by 84.8% to €14.2m on a turnover that rose by 23.6% to €81.1m. The business on the Cape Verde Islands saw cement shipments ease by 1.5% to 182,000t, but the turnover improved by 6.1% to €25.8m and the EBITDA rose by 25.9% to €3.7m.
In China, cement volume declined by 4.2% to 2.8Mt, though the turnover improved by 38.8% to €92.2m. The EBITDA went from a €2.4m loss to a profit of €21.1m, in spite of higher energy costs. Indian cement deliveries improved by 3.2% to 0.69Mt, with prices being some 12% higher than a year previously. Competitive pressures have increased and energy costs are considerably higher. The turnover was up by 8.6% to 38.1m, but the EBITDA fell by a further 33.7% to €2.5m.