Helped by the acquisitions from FLS Industries last year, Cementir increases its first quarter turnover by 140.8% to €171.7m and the operating profit at the EBITDA level rose by 65.0% to €25.9m. Turnover from grey and white cement rose by 77.2% to €110.2m, accounting for 64.2% of the total, while sales from ready-mixed concrete jumped from just €9.2m to €61.5m. However, given the shift in the net interest item from a positive €2.1m in the first quarter of last year to a negative €2.2m this time and the seasonally of the new businesses in the Nordic area, the running profit before tax declined by 31.8% to €7.4m. Excluding Aalborg Portland and Unicon, the existing businesses showed a less favourable development and the underlying turnover was 2.7% lower at €69.4m, with the EBITDA dropping by 25.1% to €12.0m. That decline came entirely from the Italian business, only partially offset by improved trading in the Turkish operations.
The Italian operations suffered from the poor weather affecting parts of the country during March in particular, which led to lost volumes on top of which higher cost could not be fully passed on to customers in the Italian market. Since the end of the period, there has been a modest improvement but any recovery in the group’s domestic performance is unlikely until during the second half of the year. In Turkey, profitability did increase in the period on the back of higher shipments and the better market conditions should allow Cementas also to improve margins over the full year on higher volumes.
Aalborg Portland performed in line with expectations and contributed a turnover of €55.1m in the three months and an EBITDA of €12.0m. The Unicon ready-mixed concrete business managed to achieve higher volumes than expected, aided by the 16% increase seen in domestic cement deliveries in Norway, and produced a turnover of €47.1m and an EBITDA of €4.0m.