Cementir’s turnover declined by 4.8% in 2008 to €1,092.2m, with the EBITDA falling by 23.7% to €209.2m. Capital investments to increase the capacity at the Erdine works in Turkey and at the Sinai Cement white cement plant in Egypt were completed during the year, giving rise to a higher depreciation charge, while some volumes and prices declined, giving rise to a 35.1% fall in the trading profit to €128.1m and reduced investment income and a sharply higher net interest charge saw the pre-tax profit drop by 53.8% to €92.2m. The net attributable profit was down by 53.5% to €65.4m.
Work has started on a 0.60Mta white cement plant in China, which should come on-stream during 2010. Other capital investments this year are focussed on reducing costs in the face of lower demand.
Net debt at the end of December stood at €416.6m to give a gearing level of 68.5%. As regards trading in the current year, cement prices are falling in a number of markets, with energy costs coming down more slowly than prices. Sales of grey and white cement declined by 3.9% in the year to 10.46Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 10.5% to 4.06Mm³.