Cimpor’s turnover for the first six months of the year moved ahead by 3.7% to €678.4m while the operating profit at the EBITDA level fell by 7.5% to €228.8m. The decline in the trading profit was more marked, with an 11.6% drop to €120.5m, but thanks to increased contributions from associates and an €16m benefit from a change in accounting policy, the running profit before tax actually rose by 9.9% to €131.05m. The cement and clinker volume for the group emerged 3.8% higher at 9.28m tonnes. Capital spending during the period, including acquisitions, amounted to €67.4m, with Portugal, where a cement grinding plant is being built at Sines, representing €17.8m. Other capital expenditure included €6.4m on the new production line in Egypt and €6.2m on a coal mill in Tunisia.
Although the Portuguese cement and clinker volume rose by 9.1% to 3.12m tonnes, domestic deliveries were down by 1.2%. This was more than compensated for by a more than doubling in export volumes. Aggregates sales volume in Portugal dropped by 13.9% to 3.75m tonnes, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 5.4% higher at 1.84m m©&hibar;. The overall EBITDA from Portugal dropped by 14.5% to €91.5m and the margin fell from 36.4% to 31.3%, with turnover 3.5% lower at €267.9m. Spain, where the EBITDA rose by 9.2% to €44.9m, emerged as the second largest contributor to profits, overtaking Brazil, and turnover was 18.3% ahead at €165.7m. Cement deliveries were 18.6% higher at 2.07m tonnes and, helped by acquisitions, ready-mixed concrete volumes jumped by 48.6% to 1.21m m©&hibar; and the aggregates tonnage by 35.3% to 1.70m tonnes. Margins, however, declined from 29.3% to 26.6% in response to the increased weighting of the downstream businesses as well as producing more cement from imported clinker.
The difficult market conditions in Brazil led to a 29.0% drop in the EBITDA to €39.8m as lower prices took its toll on profits though cement the volume was 4.0% higher at 1.63m tonnes, with turnover down by 9.2% to €96.6m. From the worst performer to the best: Egypt produced an 85.0% jump in EBITDA to €14.2m on a turnover 12% ahead at €28.6m. This was entirely the result of a recovery in cement prices, at the volume was 7.0% lower at 1.02m tonnes. In Tunisia, turnover was 2.3% lower at €26.8m on cement deliveries off by 1.7% to 0.74m tonnes, but the EBITDA improved by 12.2% to €7.3m. Further west, the impact of the cement tax left the turnover in Morocco 0.9% lower at €25.9m but cement deliveries were 1.4% higher at 0.40m tonnes and the EBITDA improved by 5.0% to €11.8m.
Cimpor’s operations in southern Africa did well. South Africa reported a 27.5% increase in turnover to €38.5m and a 35.3% advance in EBITDA to 17.6m on a cement volume 8.4% higher at 0.52m tonnes and a highly favourable pricing environment. In Mozambique, cement deliveries were 4.2% higher at 0.28m tonnes, which gave rise to a 15.6% improvement in the EBITDA on a turnover that was 24.1% higher at €22.5m.