Cimpor increased its first half turnover by 13.3% to EUR934.0m. Higher operating costs, notably an increase of more than 30% in kiln fuel costs, led to a narrowing of margins from 33.9% to 31.8%, but the EBITDA still improved by 6.3% to EUR297.0m.
Lower depreciation and provisions did lead to an increase in the trading profit (EBIT) of 10.5% to EUR215.5m but a more than doubling of the interest charge as a result of the expansion into Turkey virtually eliminated the increase at he pre-tax level, which registered a 0.7% advance to €181.5m.
The net attributable profit, however, declined by 2.9% to EUR131.7m as a result of a higher tax bill. Net debt at the end of June stood at EUR1.549.5m to give a gearing level of 87.2%. A 10.6% increase in cement shipments to 11.17Mt was almost entirely the result of the inclusion, for four months, of the Turkish operations acquired from Lafarge and Yibitas, without which the tonnage would have been up by just 0.9% to 10.19Mt. Downstream volumes improved more markedly, with aggregates ahead by 14.2%, ready-mixed concrete by 17.36% and mortar by 8.2%.
Although the recession Portuguese construction market continued, Cimpor’s Portuguese cement works increased cement and clinker volumes by 9.1% to 3.13m tonnes. Aggregates and ready-mixed concrete deliveries, though, did fall, as did shipments of mortar. Domestic turnover declined by 3.2% to €236.2m but the EBITDA emerged just 0.3% lower at EUR88.9m. Spanish turnover rose by 13.7% to €240.1m, and for the first time exceeded that of Portugal. In terms of EBITDA, Spain contributed EUR75.1m, an increase of 7.3%. Spanish cement volumes were slightly lower, declining by 2.9% to 2.06Mt, but the downstream activities registered increases.