Italcementi’s first half turnover showed an 11.6% reduction to EUR2,585.7m and the running EBITDA was down by 16.2% to EUR497.4m. The trading profit fell by 37.1% to EUR238.0m and the net attributable profit showed a 58.0% reduction to EUR55.1m. Net debt at the end of June was 3.9% higher than a year earlier at EUR2784.8m, which represents a gearing level of 60.8%. Cement and clinker shipments in the period fell by 12.8% to 27.8Mt.
Cement and clinker volumes in western Europe were off by 18.5% to 10.2Mt, with the sharpest reductions taking place in Spain and Italy, where average prices were down by 7.4% and 3.5% respectively. Temporary closures were undertaken at four works in Italy, in addition to the permanent closure of two grinding centres, while in Spain clinker purchases were reduced. Western European aggregates volumes fell by 20.7% to 18.2Mt and ready-mixed concrete shipments by 22.1% to 3.1Mm³. Turnover and EBITDA fell by respectively 23.4% and 46.4% in Italy and by 28.9% and 38.8% in Spain. France remained the largest contributor to both turnover, down by 14.1% to EUR725m, and EBITDA, off by 12.7% to EUR152m. Prices in France, however, advanced, and for cement the increase was 5.6%, while an additional ready-mixed concrete company has been acquired in France. In Belgium, the EBITDA improved by 6.5% in spite of an 8.5% reduction in turnover, while a 14.8% sales reduction in Greece led to a 30.0% drop in EBITDA.
Turnover from Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco improved by 6.8% to EUR705m and the running EBITDA advanced by 8.6% to EUR217.9m. Cement and clinker volumes were off by 5.4% to 9.9Mt. Egypt accounts for well over half, with a turnover 34.0% ahead at EUR418m and the EBITDA advancing by 9.4% to EUR137m. Margins declined because of higher costs, in particular for energy, and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were lower on the completion of infrastructure contracts.