Ciments Francais reported on Wednesday a 37 per cent rise in 2005 attributable net profit to 421.6 million Euros helped by booming construction markets and lower financial costs. Ciments Francais, controlled by Italy’s Italcementi , also said in a statement it would pay a dividend of Euro 1.90 per share, up from Euro 1.60 a year ago. The company generated a full-year operating profit of Euro 644.3m, against euro 564m in 2004, on revenues up 17.5 per cent to Euro 3.595bn.
Ciments Francais said it expected "yet another increase" in operating profit in 2006, as buoyant emerging markets and the full-year consolidation of Egyptian acquisitions will help offset an expected slowdown in the euro zone and North American construction sectors. Net debt rose to Euro 1.54bn at the end of 2005 from a restated Euro 1.21bn at the start of the year.