Italcementi SpA said its previous full year forecast for an operating profit in line with 2004’s Euro 788.5m, as stated under international accounting standards, now looks ’more difficult’. In the first quarter, net profit fell to Euro 33.8m, from Euro 50.8m a year earlier, operating profit fell to Euro 90.1m, from Euro 117.7m, and sales were Euro 990.2m, against Euro 1.006bn, the company said. The framework outlined at the time of the 2004 results remains substantially valid, with different rates of economic growth in America and Asia, to those in Europe,’ Italcementi said.
Meanwhile, Italcementi said it has signed a five-year cooperation agreement with Arabian Cement Company, the leading cement producer in Saudi Arabia. The two companies intend to look at the possibility of setting up a new cement plant in Saudi, owned jointly by the two partners, as part of possible further developments in the area, it said.