Oyak Group, one of Turkey’s largest cement makers, expects 2009 to match or beat last year’s cement sales, while revenue is likely to rise about 10 per cent in 2010 due to falling interest rates, chairman, Celal Caglar told Reuters in an interview.
Oyak, which is not publicly traded, owns four cement manufacturing plants in Turkey – Adana Cement , Bolu Cement , Unye Cement and Mardin Cement –which have a total cement production capacity of 14.1Mta.
Turkey’s cement industry, which has seen falls of up to 25 percent in its largest cement consuming region around the Sea of Marmara in the first half due to a slowdown in project funding, has found unexpected support in export markets, which have cut the sector’s sales losses to around 2 percent in the first six months, Caglar said.
"While preparing the budget for 2009, I planned a 10 percent fall in production and sales, taking into account the global crisis, but at the end of the first half I see our sales are only down four per cent on the year. I think we can catch 2008 sales figures by the end of the year or rise above them," said Caglar.
"(In 2010) there will be about a 10 percent increase. Consumer interest rates are falling and while the deposit account interest rates are falling that gives room for people to invest in other things like housing," he said.
Turkey’s central bank has slashed interest rates by 900 basis points since last November and only now have banks started lowering consumer credit rates and interest rates on savings deposits, creating greater demand for the domestic real estate market and construction sector.
He also said the government was likely to support the construction sector in the short term to limit unemployment, which was around 14 per cent in May.