French cement major Vicat is cutting spending on maintenance and other costs as it aims to hold onto domestic market share.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Vicat Chief Operating Officer Raoul de Parisot, said: “We don’t have any plan to close plants but we’re reducing costs and maintenance expenditure." He further added" “We need our production capacities to maintain market share when demand picks up.”
While the French market expanded in 2011, last year consumption saw a contraction to an expected 20Mt (-6.6 per cent YoY). Preliminary full-year figures from Vicat for full year 2012 show its French turnover declined by 6.3 per cent to EUR879m, as a more normal winter and a weaker economic environment affected construction activity.
Cement turnover declined by 11.6 per cent as volumes fell by in excess of 13 per cent. The reduced cement deliveries reflect the completion of a number of large contracts on top of the weaker trading environment, but the rate of reduction in the final quarter was less than it had been earlier in the year and the average cement price achieved showed a slight improvement.
According to ICR Research, further small decline is envisaged for French demand in 2013, followed by a modest improvement in 2014, likely to be led by civil engineering.