Cimpor’s turnover for the first nine months emerged 0.3% lower at €1565m, but, thanks to a 1.6% reduction in operating costs, the EBITDA showed a 2.9% improvement to €457m. Group cement shipments increased by 2.1% to 20.53Mt, as higher tonnages in Egypt and China more than made up for the reduction in the Iberian peninsula, Turkey and South Africa. The aggregates volume declined by 12.6% to 10.7Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries fell by 16.7% to 5.5Mm³, with downstream volumes affected by falling volumes in Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
A 10.6% increase in depreciation charges and provisions led to a 0.7% reduction in the trading profit (EBIT) to €299.6m. Net interest payments declined by 12.7% to €51.5m, but total financial charges, which had shot up last year, were actually more halved to €53.3m, with the result that the pre-tax profit rose by 46.4% to €246.3m. The reduction in financial charges was to a large extent the result of trading in, and hedging, financial derivatives. The net attributable profit, influenced by a return to a more normal tax charge, was 18.3% ahead at €177.8m. Net debt at the end of September stood at some €1768.9m, giving a gearing level of 97.7% and capital expenditure in the period was 13.6% lower at €185.4m. Portuguese turnover fell by 17.3% to €344.4m, with the EBITDA down by 12.7% to €112.6m and the trading profit by 18.8% to €72.3m. Cement and clinker sales dropped by 26.5% to 3.18Mt. While the Portuguese construction market remains depressed, the decline in the third quarter was less marked than during the first half. Spain, which benefited from the addition of the former Cemex businesses in the Canary Islands, still recorded a reduction 11.5% in turnover to €253m as the Spanish market declined by almost 40%. The cement and clinker deliveries in Spain were down by 3.6% to 2.4Mt in spite of the increased size of the operations. The EBITDA fell by 48.2% to €34.7m and the trading profit dropped by 94.6% to just €2.2m.
The Egyptian turnover rose by 54.6% to €178.8m and cement shipments advanced 26.2% to 3.04Mt. The strong growth in Egypt resulted in a 47.7% increase in the EBITDA to €77.8m, with margins being 43.5%. Moroccan cement deliveries declined by 1.5% to 0.89Mt, with the turnover advancing by 3.9% to €72m but the EBITDA declined by 3.9% to €31.2m. In Tunisia, the cement volume improved by 7.3% to 1.64Mt, with turnover advancing by 12.7% to €52.6m and the EBITDA by 10.9% to €14.6m. Turkey suffered badly from falling volumes and prices leading to a 28.9% reduction in the EBITDA and to a €0.9m loss at the trading level, with turnover dropping by 35.7% to €80.1m on cement and clinker sales that were 8% lower at 1.64Mt.
In terms of capital expenditure, Turkey was in the lead, just like in the preceding year, with €42.8m as investments in additional capacity continued. Brazil has now taken over from Portugal as the group’s largest cement producer, though the volume was 4.8% lower at 3.33Mt. Turnover in Brazil showed an improvement of just 1.2% to €307.1m, because of the elimination of exports, while improving market conditions led to a 16.5% rise in the EBITDA to €87.8m. Thanks to the commissioning of a new kiln at the Simuma works, the South African EBITDA jumped by 63.7% to €53.2m, giving the highest margin in the group at 46.0% on a turnover 11.8% higher at €115.75m. In Mozambique, the EBITDA declined by 3% to €10.8m on a turnover 16.7% ahead at €63.7m and cement volumes ahead by 5.4% to 0.58Mt. The business on the Cape Verde Islands improved its EBITDA by 2.4% to €3.5m in spite of lower volumes and turnover.
In China, cement deliveries rose by 30.9% to 2.71Mt and the turnover advanced by 47.9% to €62.9m. Pressures on prices, however, led to a 26.1% reduction in the EBITDA to €4.1m and in the third quarter the EBITDA was even negative. India provides a more encouraging profit figure, with an EBITDA of €9.5m having been earned on a turnover of €39.5m and the sale of 0.79Mt of cement. The international trading activities contributed at turnover 44.8% lower at €48.4m and an EBITDA 12.2% lower at €4.7m.