Cementir’s first half turnover rose by 6.3 per cent to €151.1m, with the Italian operations contributing €99.5m, an increase of just 1.1 per cent while the sales value at Cementas in Turkey rose by 18.1 per cent to €51.6m. The improvement in Turkish cement volumes and prices had a more market effect on profitability and Cementas’ EBITDA for the period rose by 160 per cent to €10.1m, but at 19.6 per cent the margin has plenty of room for further improvement, even if the group’s downstream operations are more important in Turkey than in Italy. In Italy, where over half the sales are in the south, on the other hand, the EBITDA fell by 9.5 per cent to €29.7m, largely because of higher energy-related costs, to give a group figure of €39.8m, an improvement of 8.4 per cent. However, further down the line the profit improvement became more marked, with less heavy depreciation charges leading to a 32.0 per cent increase in the trading profit to €24.7m, while the pre-tax profit shot up by 116 per cent to €30m.
For the full year, Cementir is expecting cement volumes in Italy to improve by around two per cent but prices may see some slight weakness in the important southern markets. As far as Turkey is concerned, forecasts are for a six per cent increase in cement consumption and an increase in the operating profit at the EBITDA level of some 40 per cent, helped by the improving price level.