First quarter turnover at Cimpor rose by 4.3% to EUR321.4m, but the operating profit at the EBITDA level declined by 4.2% to EUR115.6m. After a similar percentage decline at the trading level, a sharp reduction in financial charges led to an increase in the running profit before tax of 4.9% to EUR64.5m. The lower operating margin reflects higher transport costs and increased plant maintenence during the period.
In Portugal, turnover fell by 1.2% and domestic cement deliveries were down by 3.6%. The overall volume of cement and clinker shipped, however, grew by almost 7% thanks to higher exports, principally to Spain. Spain performed strongly during the period, with cement and clinker volumes ahead by 22.6% and turnover rising by 19.9%.
A strong recovery in cement prices led to a 26.9% increase in turnover in Egypt in spite of lower cement deliveries. Elsewhere in North Africa, cement volumes rose by 14.1% in Tunisia and by 14.7% in Morocco. Further south, both prices and deliveries advanced, with South Africa reporting a 28.3% increase in turnover on a volume increase of 11.0%, while in Mozambique a 14.7% rise in cement deliveries led to a 30.6% jump in turnover in spite of a weaker currency. In Brazil, weaker demand led to an 8.7% decline in the reported turnover.