Ciments Français, which essentially covers the non-Italian operations of the Italcementi group, increased first half turnover by an underlying 16.4% to €2,156.9m. With an increase of 10.4% to €1.032.8m, turnover growth was the slowest in the European Union, but downstream volumes in France and Spain performed particularly well. The underlying growth in the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas reached 20.5% as turnover reached €489.5m. The best performances were seen in cement prices in Egypt and Turkey and in Turkish concrete and in Moroccan aggregates volumes. Following the major investment into Egypt, North America is now the third area in terms of importance, with turnover reaching €323.9m, an underlying increase of 17.0%, helped in particular by strong pricing in North America, though volumes began to ease a little in the third quarter. Asian sales rose by 15.3% to €152.2m, while trading turnover jumped by 80.2% to €158.5m, in both cases also on a comparative basis.
In terms of product mix, cement and clinker accounted for 69.4% of turnover or €1,495.8m, which represented an increase of 19.8% on a comparable basis or +34.9% in absolute terms. Concrete and aggregates contributed 25.6% of group turnover, which represented €574.2m and an underlying growth rate of 9.0%.