Cimpor’s first quarter turnover improved by 3.5% to €481.6m, thanks to the initial consolidation of India and good growth in Egypt, Brazil, Africa and China more than making up for the reduction in Spain, Portugal and Turkey.
Consolidated cement shipments were 5.5% higher at 6.2m tonnes, thanks to strong volume increases of 27.9% in Egypt and of 26.3% in China as well as an initial 0.26Mt contribution from Shree Digvijay in India. In a Spanish cement market that contracted by more than 40%, consolidated group volumes were down by just 8.4%, thanks to the initial consolidation of the operations in the Canary Islands that were acquired from Cemex towards the end of last year. Mr. Jorge Moura will take over from Pedro Teixera Duarte as chief executive at the beginning of June, but Mr. Teixera Duarte will remain on the board.
The EBITDA was 0.7% ahead at €135.23m, with the highest margins being earned in Morocco, Egypt and South Africa. The group trading profit declined by 5.8% to €85.9m and, after a 8.3% increase in the net interest charge to €13.1m, the pre-tax profit emerged 8.0% lower at €72.2m, while the net attributable profit was reduced by 11.8% to €51.2m. Gearing at the end of March stood at 107.4%, slightly lower than at the year-end, but higher than the 90% seen a year earlier. Although the Portuguese profit fell by 20.9% to €32.8m, Portugal remained the largest single contributor to the EBITDA. The Spanish contribution, in spite of additional operations in the Canary Islands, was more than halved and fell from €24.4m to €10.8m.
Egypt was the second largest contributor to EBITDA and here the contribution jumped by 54.6% to €27.4m tonnes though higher input costs, essentially for energy, lowered margins. In Morocco, the EBITDA declined by 9.0% to €10.4m, but the margins in Egypt and Morocco remained the highest in the group, at 44.2% and 44.9% respectively. The Tunisian contribution was 3.9% ahead at €3.2m. Turkey was badly affected, in particular by the over-capacity caused by a number of new plants being brought on stream in a very fragmented market. As a result, cement prices fell and a €1.3m loss was incurred at the EBITDA level, compared with a €1.4m profit last time.
Prices in the Brazilian market have continued to improve, with the result that the EBITDA advanced by 25.6% to €26.2m as margins rose from 23.1% to 29.7%. South Africa achieved an improvement in margins thanks to the new kiln at the Simuma works that eliminated the need to buy in clinker, with the EBITDA increasing by 60.9% to €13.3m as margins rose from 27.9% to 43.5%. In Mozambique, the EBITDA advanced by 39.6% to €3.7m, but margins remain modest at 17.4%, while the Cape Verde Islands provided a 16.5% profit increase to €1.1m. The profit contribution China more than doubled to 1.6m, but EBITDA margins remain thin at 7.3%.