The Romanian cement market will remain in 2005 at the level registered last year, of Euro 300m, the incremental increase of the market being strictly related to the ROL - EUR exchange rate evolution, say local news sources. "Expressed in euros, the cement market will not exceed this year the level of 300 million euros, considering the ROL - EUR exchange rate evolution.
The construction market in 2004 was worth Euro 5.2bn, Euro 300m in the case of cement, which accounts for 5 to 6 per cent of the total", according to Mihai Rohan, general manager of Carpatcement Holding and representative of the German group HeidelbergCement in Romania.
According to Lafarge Romcim President, Philippe Questiaux, the cement market grew by 12 per cent in 2004, the estimations for this year being optimistic. HeidelbergCement, Lafarge and Holcim, companies with approximately equal shares, control the market. These companies were allegedly in breach of Competition law, according to the Competition Council, regarding the substantial and simultaneous rise of the prices charged by cement producers, a decision from the Council being expected on May 19. Mihai Rohan also said that the decision of the Competition Council would be differentiated for each of the companies against which there is an allegation of being in breach of the competition law. Carpatcement manager specified that the German group would make attempts to keep this year prices at last year level, in spite of the rise in utilities.
The German group HeidelbergCement estimates revenues from the activities performed in Romania, in 2005, to increase to Euro 170m, compared to Euro 156m in 2004, following total sales worth Euro 18m in Q1.
"We cannot go beyond 5-6 per cent in 2005. We realized a turnover of Euro 18m in Q1, slightly over the same interval of 2004", the general manager of Carpatcement affirmed.He specified that the group would invest Euro 15.5m in the Romanian market, following a level of Euro 20m invested in 2004. The largest share of the funds will be used for upgrading the cement factories and for environmental protection – he concluded.