Italcementi's turnover declined by 4.3% last year, or by 6.6% on a comparable basis to €4790.9m, of which consolidated Italian operations contributed €619.6m, a reduction of 15.2%. Group cement shipments were 2.4% lower at 54.4Mt and the turnover from cement was off by 6.9% to €3388.7m, with cement volumes being down mainly in Europe and in international trading, while increasing in Asia. Downstream, shipments of aggregates declined by 6.0% to 36.7Mt but the ready-mixed concrete volume actually improved by 1.4% to 11.4Mm³.
The western European turnover was down by 9.1% to €2407.3m. Cement and clinker volumes in western Europe declined by 4.2% to 19.2Mt, with Italy down by 0.4Mt to 9.4Mt. Calcestruzzi has not yet been re-consolidated and the European downstream operations remain dominated by France. The aggregates volume came down by 5.4% to 33.5Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 6.2% lower at 5.7Mm³.
Turnover from the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions was off by just 1.1% to €1378.7m as the continued strong performance in Egypt made up for most of the decline in Bulgaria. Cement and clinker shipments were off by 3.8% to 19.3Mt, with Kuwait now also coming under this region rather than international trading. Aggregates volumes fell by 19.5% to 2.1Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 9.2% to 4.2Mm³.
The Asian turnover improved by 9.1% to €449.0m, as cement deliveries improved by 4.2% to 11.1Mt, but pricing in India weakened in response to excess capacity in the region. The Asian downstream activities remain comparatively modest and are dominated by Thailand. Aggregates shipments dropped by 52.1% to 0.2Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by 27.3% to 0.7Mm³.
In North America, turnover recovered by 3.5% to €415.3m, aided by exchange rate movements. Cement deliveries were 0.2% higher at 4.0Mt, and ready-mixed concrete production improved by 3.9% to 0.8Mm³. The modest aggregates arm benefited from acquisitions and the volume advanced by 50.4% to 1.0Mt. The international trading activities contributed a turnover 3.7% higher at €229.3m, although the cement and clinker trading volume was 6.9% lower at 3.8Mt.
Italcementi has agreed to sell Set Group holding, which operates three integrated cement works and one grinding centre in Turkey to Limak Holding for €290m. This deal also includes 13 batching plants. It would make Limak Holding the second largest cement producer in Turkey behind Oyak, but ahead of the HeidelbergCement / Sabanci joint venture Akçansa. It will give Limak an annual cement capacity of in excess of 10Mt and increase the number of Limak's integrated cement works from four to seven and the number of grinding centres from two to three. It leaves Italcementi with two cement assets in Turkey: a 76.5% interest in the remaining subsidiary Afyon Çimento, which has an annual cement capacity of around 0.5Mt and is quoted on the Istanbul stock exchange and a 29.1% stake in Göltas Göller Böglesi Çimento, another quoted company, with an annual cement capacity of 2.9Mt and a clinker capacity of just over 1.3Mt. These two investments are also likely to be sold when suitable deals can be arranged.