Italcementi unit Ciments Francais posted a near 44 per cent fall in 2008 net profit and said 2009 would be another difficult year for the construction and materials sector.
"Although several stimulus plans were announced in Europe and the United States, the group expects shrinking demand in developed countries and mixed demand in emerging countries," the Paris-listed unit of Italcementi said in a statement on Thursday.
Net profit fell to EUR262.2m (US$329m) from EUR465.9m in 2007, while recurring earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) fell nearly 16 per cent to EUR1.021bn, it said.
Revenues edged up 1.9 per cent to EUR4.775bn.
In a note, Intermonte analyst Paolo Mosole said the figures were below expectations due to higher amortisations and financial charges, but he repeated his ’neutral’ rating on Italcementi.
Italcementi announced last month it would bid for full control of Ciments Francais in an all-paper deal expected to be completed in the first half of 2009.