Cementir’s first quarter turnover increased by 3.2% to EUR245.1m in 2007. Harsher weather conditions, particularly in Scandinavia, the temporary closure of the Edirne works in Turkey to allow for the capacity expansion and higher energy costs as well as the situation in the Italian ready-mixed concrete market, combined to reduce the EBITDA by 13.2% to EUR38.7m. The effect of these negative factors was more accentuated at the trading level, where there was a 26.2% decline to EUR20.3m. Higher interest charges than in the comparative period last year led to an 85.3% drop in the pre-tax profit to just EUR3.8m. The expanded Edirne works was re-commissioned towards the end of last month.
Group deliveries of grey and white cement in the period increased by 0.5% to 2.21m tonnes, while in aggregates there was a 13.6% improvement to 0.83Mt, in spite of the more difficult winter. The winter weather did have an effect on the ready-mixed concrete operations, where volumes declined by 4.9% to 0.99Mt.