Cementir sold 10.24Mt of grey and white cement in 2006, an increase of 14.0%, with cement turnover rising by 23.0% to €663.2m. Group turnover rose by 22.9% to €1,053.3m and the EBITDA advanced by 34.2% to €247.4m. With the depreciation charge increasing by just 2.0%, the trading profit (EBIT) recorded a 51.7% rise to €180.9m, while at the pre-tax level, there was a 46.9% improvement to €168.9m. Net debt at the end of the year stood at €437.5m, an increase of 8.4%, reflecting, among other things, the acquisition of Elazig Cimento in Turkey, an increase in the stake in Sinai White Portland Cement to 57.1%, from 45.7%, and the construction of a white cement terminal at Tampa, Florida. In the downstream operations, turnover increased by 22.8% to €390.0m. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 10.9% to 4.33m m³, but aggregates shipments were 5.6% lower at 2.93Mt, influenced to some extent by the sale of the Polish downstream business to Cemex.
Excluding acquisitions, turnover rose by 13.8% and the EBITDA by 21.6%. The final quarter was particularly strong, registering increases in turnover of 26.3% to €278.8m and the EBITDA rising by some 44% to €60.0m. For the year, the European turnover increased by 16.1% to €747.8m as the Italian and Nordic markets performed well. Acquisitions and strong markets in Turkey combined to boost Asian turnover by 54.5% to €232.3m. Turnover in North and Central America rose by some 45% to €51.5m, helped by higher prices and the addition of Vianini Pipe, but the white cement terminal at Miami, which is being supplied from Denmark, only came on stream in the final quarter. The trading environment remains favourable and Cementir is confident that both sales and margins will continue to improve in 2007.