Cimpor’s first half turnover improved by 6.3 per cent to €1087.8m, thanks to increases exceeding 40 per cent in Brazil and in Turkey, while reductions were seen in China and Spain in particular. The EBITDA emerged just 0.2 per cent higher at €298.7m as the average margin declined from 29.1 to 27.5 per cent, as strong advances in Turkey, Brazil and Tunisia were offset by reduced profitability in Portugal, Spain, Egypt and India and a loss in China. After a 12.6 per cent increase in depreciation and impairment charges, the trading profit (EBIT) declined by 6.1 per cent to €183.5m.
A 42.2 per cent reduction in financial charges still enabled a 5.4 per cent improvement in the pre-tax profit to €156.1m. However, a higher tax charge left the net attributable profit 7.9 per cent down at €98.7m. The net debt at the end of June was 9.7 per cent lower at €1.719.2m, leading to a substantially lower gearing of 79.5 per cent, compared with 109 per cent a year earlier. Capital expenditure in the period fell by 48.3 per cent to €73.4m, of which €26.2m was incurred in Brazil.
Consolidated cement deliveries improved by 3.2 per cent to 13.93Mt, with higher production levels in Brazil, Portugal and Turkey offset by reduced production in South Africa and Asia. Turnover from international trading and shipping just over doubled to €57.9m and the profit contribution rose by 33.4 per cent to €4.0m. Group aggregates sales fell by 16.4per cent to 5.7Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 11.3 per cent to 3.2Mm³, which reflects the importance of the Iberian peninsula in these activities.
Portuguese cement consumption declined by some eight per cent during the first half, but Cimpor’s cement and clinker volumes actually increased by 21.7 per cent to 2.45Mt, largely helped by clinker exports to Egypt and cement exports to Cape Verde. The lower value of clinker exports meant that the turnover still eased by 0.2 per cent to €223.8m and the EBITDA declined by 10.9 per cent to €67.6m. The reduction in Spanish turnover was more marked at 12.9 per cent to €140.7m. The EBITDA fell by 30.5 per cent to €15.3m and cement shipments declined by 3.9 per cent to €1.48Mt. Thanks to a less depressed market in north-western Spain, some clinker exports from there and a reduced cost base, the Spanish EBITDA actually improved by 4.5 per cent in the second quarter.
Brazil is now not only the largest cement producer in the group, but also the largest source of turnover and profit. Cement volumes rose by 19.7 per cent to 2.52Mt, and the capacity is being pushed ahead at several works. The Brazilian turnover advanced by 46.5 per cent to €274.4m, further aided by the strength of the Brazilian currency and the EBITDA jumped by 70.7 per cent to €89.3m. Without the exchange rate boost, the advance in EBITDA would have been some 39 per cent.