Turnover in the first nine months of the year at Cimpor grew by only 1.1% to Eur1,028.2m in spite of the initial inclusion of the Andalusian business acquired from Lafarge at the turn of the year and a full period’s contribution from Natal Portland Cement in South Africa. This reflected notably lower cement volumes on two important markets as well as weaker overseas currencies. The lower volumes in Portugal and Brazil depressed margins and the operating profit at the EBITDA level declined by 3.4% to Eur396.4m. Higher depreciation and a 54% rise in the interest charge saw the running profit before tax drop by 10.3% to Eur208.4m. The net debt at the end of September stood at some Eur1,259m to give a gearing level of 121.4%
Cement and clinker sales rose by 12.8% to 13.8Mt, of which 2.45m came from the increased scope of consolidation. At the underlying level, this represents a decline of some 0.9Mt. Domestic deliveries in Portugal fell by 17.5%, but thanks to higher exports, principally to the new Andalusian subsidiaries in southern Spain, the drop in volume at the Portuguese cement plants was contained at 7.2%.