Cimpor reported a 0.5% lower first quarter turnover at €479.4m ands the EBITDA declined by 8.7% to €123.5m. The strong growth in Brazil compensated for much of the weakness in some other major group markets. A 12.5% increase in depreciation and provisioning led to a 21.1% reduction in the trading profit to €67.4m, while a lower financial charge reduced the reduction at the pre-tax level to 11.9% at €63.6m and the net attributable profit was down by a modest 5.6% to €45.6m. Capital investment in the period amounted to €37.6m, of which Brazil represented 33.6%, and the net debt was reduced by 5.1% to €1,612m to give a gearing of 77.0%. Consolidated cement and clinker volumes were 1.7% lower at 6.1Mt.

Turnover in Portugal was down by 4.8% to €101.8m and the EBITDA declined by 19.9% to €26.2%, in spite of volumes being helped by increased clinker shipments to the group's Egyptian operations. Spain continued its downward trend in a market that was off by a fifth, resulting in a 19.1% reduction in turnover to €61.9m and the EBITDA dropped by 66.7% to €3.6%. Brazil has now become the largest contributor to both turnover and profits, replacing Portugal on both counts, with turnover surging ahead by 41.6% to €125.0m helped not only by higher volumes, but also by a stronger Brazilian currency. The EBITDA advanced by a similar percentage, rising by 42.6% to €37.4m.

In the Middle East, Egypt, the main contributor, reported a 3.9% reduction in turnover to €59.6m and the EBITDA fell by 14.4% to €25.5m as clinker had to be imported, adding to costs. In Morocco, the EBITDA declined by 23.1% to €8.0m on a turnover that was off by 10.2%. The Tunisian turnover contribution rose by 9.9% to €19.1m and the EBITDA emerged 19.2% higher at €3.8m. Turkey has rebounded with turnover up by 30.5% to 19.9m and a return to profit was achieved at the EBITDA level, albeit a modest €0.3m.  

South Africa achieved 7.3% improvement in turnover to €32.8m and the EBITDA increased by 16.0% to €15.5m as margins improved rose from 43.5% to 47.1%, the highest in the group. In Mozambique, turnover declined by 10.9% to €19.2m and the EBITDA fell by 12.8% to €3.3m, while the Cape Verde Islands saw turnover shrink by 6.8% to €7.7m and the profit was reduced by 13.2% to €0.9m. China went into a €1.0m loss on a turnover that dropped by 44.3% to €12.1m as an important contract came to an end. In India, turnover declined by 3.0% to €14.0m and the EBITDA slipped by 0.8% to €2.9m.