Cementir's turnover for the first nine months of 2015 edged ahead by 0.7 per cent to EUR719.7m as good Nordic and Malaysian performances offset the weakness experienced in Turkey, Egypt and China, while Italy was broadly stable.
EBITDA, however, did decline by 1.9 per cent to EUR125.3m and the trading profit came down by 5.7 per cent to EUR63m. After a net financial income of EUR0.6m compared with a charge of EUR3.1m, the pre-tax profit was off by just 0.2 per cent to EUR63.6m.
Net debt at the end of September was 9.7 per cent lower at EUR291.1m to give a gearing level of 26.8 per cent compared with 29.2 per cent a year earlier. By the year end, Cementir hopes to have its net debt down to around EUR230m.
Grey and white cement volume came down by five per cent to 6.96Mt. The aggregates tonnage improved by 12.8 per cent to 2.86Mt and deliveries of ready-mixed concrete advanced by 2.9 per cent to 2.71Mm³. The workforce was reduced by 0.4 per cent to 3073 compared with a year earlier.
In the Nordic area, turnover improved by 4.9 per cent. In Denmark, turnover was EUR2.4m ahead as cement shipments increased by 5.9 per cent, ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 15.4 per cent and aggregates shipments were also ahead.
In Sweden, where the group operates primarily in the Malmö region in southern Sweden, performance was strong, with volume increases of 26 per cent in ready-mixed concrete and of 17 per cent in aggregates. In Norway, on the other hand, turnover declined by 8.4 per cent in local currency as ready-mixed concrete deliveries fell by 12.3 per cent as both housebuilding and civil engineering activity were reduced. In Italy, turnover was stable with improved ready-mixed concrete activity offsetting a decline in cement volumes. In England, the waste treatment operations increased volumes, but remains in a start-up situation.
The Turkish turnover declined by 9.3 per cent in local currency, as the amount of cement sold was 14.8 per cent lower reflecting poor weather and political uncertainty. The waste management company Sureko is beginning to be brought to full capacity.
In Malaysia, turnover grew by 30.6 per cent in local currency terms as the increased capacity came fully on stream, leading to increased exports of white cement and clinker to export markets in Australia, Vietnam, and South Korea. In addition, the ringgit rose by four per cent against the euro.
Egyptian turnover declined by 3.5 per cent in local currency as exports to the Middle East were lower, but increased in euro terms. In China, lower domestic demand was only partially made up for by increased exports but the strength of the local currency let to an increased turnover on conversion.