At the end of September 2005, consolidated revenues increased in every country except Greece and also profited from globally positive price trends. The increase in volumes at the end of the first half-year period was confirmed in the third quarter in the three business segments despite a slowdown in cement sales on domestic markets in North America and Asia (Thailand in particular).
Gross operating profit for the third quarter amounted to Euro 291.3m, a sharp increase compared to 2004 (+28.6%) and also rose significantly at the end of September (+14.0%) due to the impact of the consolidation of Egyptian operations and to a globally positive business trend.
The globally positive business trend at the end of September should continue in the final quarter and should, excluding Egyptian operations, generate operating profits in line with those achieved the year before. The consolidation of Egyptian operations will also ensure a significant improvement in 2005 results compared to 2004.