Italcementi's turnover improved by 1.3% in 2011 to €4720.5m, but the underlying EBITDA declined by 17.2% to €697.3m and impairment charges saw the trading profit drop by 65.2% to €129m. Net financial charges were reduced by 10.2% to €84.7m. A 39.9% reduction in exceptional costs and an increased contribution from the Canadian associates left the pre-tax profit 80.8% down at €53m, while at the net attributable there was a €3.1m loss compared a profit of €45.8m. Capital investment was reduced by 22.8% to €399.5m in 2011, after a 23% reduction in the previous year, and spending on acquisitions dropped by 88.2% to €2.9m. Net debt at the end of 2011 was 24.4% lower at €1675.2m, reducing the gearing level from 44.7% to 34.2%.
Shipments of cement and clinker declined by 1.9% to 51.1Mt in the year, but the aggregates tonnage increased by 3.7% to 38.1Mt, while the underlying ready-mixed concrete volume improved by 0.8% to 14.5Mm³. The sale of emission rights produced an income of €62m compared with €56m in 2010,which was an exceptional year. Of the €62m, Italy provided €28m and Bulgaria €24m. The international trading activities handled 27.1% less volume at 2.7Mt of cement and clinker last year, as clinker exports to Egypt dried up, with turnover falling by 20% to €183.4m and the EBITDA coming down by 25.9% to €10.6m.
The re-consolidation of Calcestruzzi led to a 33.2% jump in Italian turnover to €918.1m and with the loss-making Calcestruzzi on board, there was a €12.6m loss at the EBITDA level. With further heavy charges, the trading loss increased by 16.2% to €142.4m. Cement deliveries declined by a further 6%, but cement prices showed a reasonable recovery. The French and Belgian turnover improved by 6.4% to €1589.7m, but higher costs and pressure on prices led to a 4.8% reduction in the EBITDA to €302.8m. Cement and clinker sales rose by 6.4% in France, helped by strong residential activity, and by 8.4% in Belgium, including exports. In Spain, domestic deliveries fell by 16.3%, but an increase in exports limited the overall volume reduction to 6.8%. The Spanish turnover fell by 12% to €155.4m and the EBITDA dropped by 41.5% to €18.5m. Greek cementitious volume dropped by around 40% and a €1.6m loss being incurred at the EBITDA level. Bulgarian cement and clinker volumes decreased by 3.8%, but the EBITDA rose by 76% to €30m, helped by the sale of emission certificates, though turnover declined by 7.9% to €52m.
Egyptian turnover fell by 30% to €551.8m, reflecting the political upheaval, increased competitive capacity and a weaker Egyptian pound and the EBITDA dropped by 52.1% to €129.6m. In spite of some exports being achieved, the cement and clinker volume declined by 10.9%. Morocco, on the other hand, performed well. Turnover improved by 8.3% to €352.2m and the EBITDA rose by 21.1% to €152.2m. Domestic deliveries rose by 8.1% and, including clinker exports, the production increased by 9.1%. In Kuwait, cement volumes improved by 4.5% but prices were lower. Profitability improved, helped by a 22.8% increase in volumes and better prices. Most of the Turkish operations were sold last year and the one remaining works was disposed of during February of this year.
Turnover across the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico declined by 2.5% to €405.1m and the EBITDA suffered from lower prices and higher costs for energy and maintenance and fell by 35.8% to €16.3m, having more than doubled in the previous year. Cement volumes improved by 5.1% to 4.2Mt as some market share was recovered.
Asian turnover improved by 11.2% to €499.4m and the EBITDA rose by 19.9% to €81.8m. In India, turnover advanced by 31.6% to €223.5m and the EBITDA was ahead by 58.9% to €57.2m, as the cement and clinker volume increased by 8.5%. Domestic cement deliveries were up by 7.8%, helped by the commissioning of the Chennai grinding centre in June and improved demand in the final quarter. The Thai turnover improved by 7.7% to €194.1m and the EBITDA recovered by 56.7% to €23.5m. Domestic cement sales were 0.4% higher overall volumes eased by 0.2% as an increase in cement exports to Cambodia was insufficient to compensate for the reduction in clinker exports. The Kazakhstan cement and clinker volume fell by 18.8% as construction in the group's main areas of operation eased and competitive pressures increased, leading to a 17.4% reduction in turnover to €39m and a 67% drop in EBITDA to €3m. In China, the commissioning of new capacity led to a 5.2% volume reduction and average prices also suffered, leading to a 17.3% reduction in turnover to €43m and a €2m EBITDA loss.