Vicat’s turnover for the first nine months of 2007 increased by 3.3% to EUR1,632m, which corresponds to a growth rate of 5.0% on a comparative basis, with the lower exchange rates for the US and Turkish currencies being a notable negative factor, with the United States also being hit by lower housebuilding activity and Turkey an intensively competitive market. The US share of turnover fell from 20.7% to 17.8%, while that of France rose from 44.2% to 45.7%. Turnover in cement improved by 5.8% to EUR834m, while in concrete and aggregates it was just 1.9% higher at EUR725m. The turnover from other activities, which are all in France and Switzerland, were 1.1% ahead at €283m, as the additional pre-cast concrete activities in Switzerland compensated for the sale of the French merchanting and pipes businesses.
Consolidated cement shipments improved by 3.7% to 10.88Mt. In France, the increase in turnover of more than 8% principally reflected higher selling prices. In the United States, turnover in local currency showed rises of a similar magnitude, with volumes also showing an increase, but more so in Alabama than in California. The Swiss turnover was stable, in spite of a reduction in civil engineering activity as projects were completed, while in Italy there was an improvement in the third quarter following a weak start to the year. In Turkey, cement shipments increased in the Ankara region but demand on the Mediterranean coast weakened. Sales in Senegal grew on the back of sustained commercial building and civil engineering activity and higher cement prices, while in Egypt the strength of domestic demand boosted volumes.