Cimpor ahead despite Portuguese profit decline

Cimpor ahead despite Portuguese profit decline
Published: 31 August 2006

Cimpor’s first half turnover increased by 11.2% to €824.4m, with the EBITDA increasing by 8.7% to €279.4m in spite of a notable increase in energy costs and a very weak Portuguese market.  The trading profit emerged 16.9% higher at €196.8m, with the net interest charge being little changed at €16.5m to give a pre-tax profit 18.9% ahead at €180.3m.  Group cement shipments were 5.1% higher at 10.16m tonnes but ready-mixed concrete deliveries were pre off by 1.6% to 3.48m m³, as good growth elsewhere could not entirely compensate for the sharpness of the drop in Portuguese deliveries.  Other group volumes did, however, advance, with aggregates shipments emerging 2.8% higher at 6.52m tonnes and mortar sales rose by 4.0% to 250,000 tonnes.
Portuguese turnover declined by 7.9% to €244.1m as cement shipments fell by 8.0% to 2.87m tonnes because of the drop in construction activity, leading to a 10.9% decline in EBITDA to €89.1m.  The drop was more pronounced in ready-mixed concrete, where deliveries were down by 14.3% to 1.64m m³, while the aggregates tonnage was 7.0% lower at 3.91m tonnes.  Neighbouring Spain, however, produced a notably brighter picture, with turnover rising by 14.6% to €211.2m and the EBITDA by 19.3% to €70.0m. Although cement deliveries were only a marginal 0.1% ahead at 2.12m tonnes, ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 8.8% to 1.41m m³ and aggregates by 19.8% to 2.21m tonnes. 
Egypt has become the third largest profit contributor, with an EBITDA €32.2m as the profit margin reached 50.9%, the highest in the group.  Cement and clinker shipments rose by 8.1% to 1.55m tonnes, leaving the turnover 16.5% ahead at €57.1m.  The Tunisian operations increased cement shipments by 9.8% to 0.77m tonnes, with turnover rising by 15.9% to €30.8m and EBITDA by 29.1% to €7.5m.  In Morocco, a sale of 120,000 tonnes of clinker helped boost volumes by 150,000 tonnes or 33.9% to 0.59m tonnes, giving rise to a 17.5% increase in turnover to €33.7m with the EBITDA advancing by 31.8% to 15.9m.
Brazilian cement volumes rose by 13.9% to 1.94m tonnes, with turnover improving by 27.5% to €131.2m but the EBITDA rose by just 9.0% to €31.3m as the continued price war depressed margins as prices dropped by around 9% in local currency.  In South Africa, cement and clinker volumes rose by 13.1% to 0.60m tonnes and turnover advanced by 31.4% to €62.3m while the EBITDA emerged 23.2% higher at €24.0m.  The operations in Mozambique increased turnover by 14.4% to €26.2m and the EBITDA recovered somewhat from the previous year’s depressed level by rising 131% to €4.2m on a tonnage 6.6% higher at 0.29m tonnes.