Italcementi’s international subsidiary Ciments Français increased its first half turnover by an underlying 6.9% to €1,675m. In absolute terms the increase was 10.2%, thanks to the initial consolidation of Suez Cement Company in the second quarter. This, in combination with generally higher cement prices, helped boost cement and clinker sales from 64.3% to 66.2% of turnover. The growth in concrete and aggregates was less pronounced, with an underlying 3.3% to €524m.
The European Union represented a turnover of €932m, or 55.6% of the total, with North America contributing 15.8%. Overall cement and clinker volume rose by around 13% to some 19.4m tonnes, which represents an underlying increase of approximately 3%. Greece was the only country to report a significant decline in domestic deliveries with a 16% drop, but in Belgium a similar increase was seen as CCB recovered market share. Shipments in France were broadly stable, while Spain recorded a 1% improvement. Bulgarian domestic deliveries rose by some 15%, but overall volumes were little changed as export shipments were reduced. In North America, a 3.5% volume increase translated into an underlying increase in turnover of 13.4%, +8.4% on conversion, to €265m as cement prices rose. Good growth in domestic deliveries were seen in most other overseas markets, with approximate increases reaching 17% in India, 15% in Thailand, 11% in Turkey, 10% in Kazakhstan and 7% in Morocco. Moroccan export shipments to group operations Mauritania and the Gambia also increased.