The Romanian unit of Swiss cement producer Holcim Ltd. expects its 2006 sales to rise in line with the overall domestic market growth projected at eight to 12 percent, a senior company said. "We want to grow at least at the same rate as the market, in order to maintain our position on the market," Holcim Romania’s country manager Marcus Wirth told SeeNews in a recent interview. "For the time being it is very difficult to forecast a sum but the [Romanian] cement market will grow by between eight and twelve percent," Wirth added.
Holcim Romania’s 2005 turnover rose by 14 per cent to Euro 166m from Euro 130m in 2004. Holcim Romania employs 1300. Wirth sees the Romanian cement market growing steadily due to the rising demand for new apartments, offices and infrastructure improvements in the EU-acceding country. Romania, a country of 21.6 million people, hopes to join the EU in 2007.
Demand for cement in Romania is huge and would rise even further because the country’s infrastructure is underdeveloped, he said. "There is an important performance indicator, and that is the per-capita cement consumption. Currently in Romania we are at about 300kg per capita, two years ago it used to be about 260kg per capita, and there will be a constant increase."
Holcim Romania plans to boost its annual production capacity to 3Mt by end-2008, from 2.3Mt now. "This year we have about 70 million euro to be invested, and the majority of this money is going to the Campulung plant, for its extension and refurbishing. We have invested about Euro 325m so far in Romania" Wirth said.