Ciments Francais, part of the Italcementi Group, reported that consolidated revenues for the first half of 2012 amounted to EUR1.9m, down 4.8 per cent YoY reflecting a 6.5 per cent drop in activity and a positive exchange-rate effect (+1.9 per cent). The most significant increases related to Bulgaria, North America, India and Thailand and the strongest reductions related to France/Belgium, Spain and Egypt.
Recurring EBITDA amounted to EUR319.7m, down 17.1 per cent primarily due to reduced business activity in Western Europe (France/Belgium, Spain and Greece) and Egypt, and higher variable costs particularly in the first quarter. Those factors were partially compensated by measures to reduce fixed costs and actions to improve productivity in several countries. EBIT totaled EUR145.3m, a decline of 30.1 per cent.
Cement and clinker sales volumes in the first half of 2012 were down 3.3 per cent at 20.1Mt with the reduction mainly due to the falls in Western Europe. It also resulted from the more limited decline in Egypt. Sales volumes increased in Asia, with the exception of Kazakhstan, and in North America. They remained stable in Morocco and rose sharply in Bulgaria.
On its outlook, the company said: “The evolution of the financial results in the second quarter confirmed and in some cases heightened the economic fears which had led us at the end of April to temper trend predictions for the full year. Following current actions on the main lines of management and those still under review, the Group should be able to maintain EBITDA at the level of 2011, with the help of a positive price evolution in some markets during the second half-year.