Cimpor-Cimentos de Portugal SGPS said Monday that increased export activity and lower prices for its products in Brazil helped trim consolidated net profit 3.8% in the first half to EUR86.8 mllion from EUR90.3 million in the same period the previous year. Cimpor said the higher transportation costs and lower selling prices related to export sales, as well as overall higher energy costs, trimmed operating margins to 33.7% in the half from 37.8% the previous year.
Operating costs rose 11% to EUR449.6 million from EUR407.0 million, while sales rose 3.7% to EUR678.4 million from EUR654.3 million, Cimpor said. The results were also affected by lower one-time results, with the company posting a EUR4.5 million loss in the half compared with a EUR16.9 million one-time gain in the year-before period. Cimpor didn’t provide details of its one-time results, and company officials weren’t immediately able to provide further information.
The bulk of Cimpor’s sales come from domestic markets. But a softer economy saw sales in Portugal drop 3.5% to EUR267.9 million. Spain was more robust, with sales up 18% at EUR165.7 million, while in Brazil sales fell 9% to EUR96.6 million. Cimpor is also active in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mozambique and South Africa. Looking forward, Cimpor reiterated that it expects net profit for 2004 to be in line with its EUR189.5 million full-year profit for 2003.