Cementir ahead in spite of weaker Italy

Cementir ahead in spite of weaker Italy
Published: 11 September 2007

Cementir increased its total grey and white cement shipments in the first half of the year by 10.1% to 5.28Mt.  In the downstream operations, ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 8.6% to 2.30Mm³ and the aggregates tonnage advanced by 26.2% to 1.67Mt. 

Net turnover rose by 9.0% to EUR549.6m, but higher energy and transport costs did put pressure on margins, which eased from 23.5% to 22.6%.  As a result, the EBITDA improved by a more modest 5.1% to
EUR124.3m and the trading profit (EBIT) was 5.8% higher at EUR88.7m.  In Italy, turnover was lower, and costs did not fully reflect this reduction with the consequence that domestic margins suffered.  However with the investment in the kiln at the Arquata Scriva plant in Italy now completed, the cost base should be lower in the second half.  The capacity increase, to 0.9Mta, at the Elazig works in Eastern Anatolia, acquired from Oyak just over a year ago, is also now also up an running, with the benefits beginning to be seen this year. 
The net profit, however, benefited from lower financial charges and increased by 24.3% to
EUR63.4m.  Net debt at the half-year stage stood at EUR439.6m to give a gearing level of 44.4%.  The forward announced investment programme, consisting in the main of a white cement plant in Egypt, is comparatively modest, leaving the group with plenty of financial flexibility.