Cementir saw turnover decline by 16.4% to EUR157.7m during the first quarter of the year, with the EBITDA dropping by 56.4% to EUR9.7m and losses being declared at both the trading and pre-tax levels. After a first quarter that saw volumes suffer from a cold winter, cement and ready-mixed concrete demand began to recover in April.
Capital investments in the past three months included the final costs of the new white cement plant constructed in China. The grey and white cement volume was down by 7.2% to 1.97Mt.Volumes declined in the three major markets of Italy, Scandinavia and Turkey, and only in Egypt was there a meaningful increase in cement shipments.
The Turkish subsidiary Cementas is investing a further EUR50m or so in the waste management business, which it is hoped will generate annual benefits of some EUR20m from 2011. A EUR150m investment in overhauling and up-grading the group’s Taranto cement works in Italy is expected to be given the go-ahead in the coming months, a project that is likely to be spread over three years. Plans are also in hand to double white cement capacity in Malaysia, the timing of which has yet to be decided.