Cimpor's turnover in the first quarter rose by 14.3% to €547.7m and the EBITDA improved by 15.4% to €142.4m. A 4.2% reduction in depreciation and provision charges to €53.7m led to a 31.7% increase in the trading profit to €88.7m. Net financial expenses rose by 2½ times to €9.8m, leading to a pre-tax profit 24% higher at €78.9m and the net attributable profit emerged 27.1% ahead at €57.9m. Net debt was 3.8% lower at €1551m to give a gearing level of 71.8%. Consolidated cement and clinker volumes increased by 4.7% to 6.38Mt. Downstream volumes rose more markedly, with aggregates shipments advancing by 37.9% and ready-mixed concrete deliveries by 18%.

Turnover in Portugal declined by 3.1% to €98.6m and the EBITDA eased by 6.3% to €24.6m%. Cement and clinker volumes fell by 16.5% to 0.93Mt. Clinker exports to Egypt and the Canaries were down, and exports to Brazil have just been started. The Spanish cement tonnage was down by 4.3% to 0.62m and some signs of price stability were being seen, while the reduction in demand in Andalucia was partially compensated for by increased volumes in Galicia.

Brazil has reinforced its position as the leading source of volumes, turnover and profit. The Brazilian turnover rose by 34% to €167.4m and the EBITDA advanced by 33.4% to €49.9m, while cement and clinker sales improved by 9.1% to 1.33Mt and cement prices were come 9% ahead. The results were boosted on conversion, thanks to the rise in the value of the Brazilian currency. A new 1.2Mta integrated cement works is being built in Cerrado Grande at a cost of some €190m, with site work starting next year for completion in 2014.

In the Middle East, Egypt remains the largest contributor, but the turnover was off by 13.7% to €51.5m and the EBITDA fell by 28.8% to €16.7m as the tonnage was reduced by 10.5% to 0.89Mt. The political situation led to production stoppages, but prices improved by some 3%. In Morocco, the EBITDA eased by 1.6% to €7.9m on a turnover that did improve by 17.5% to €24.4m as volume advanced by 11.2% to 0.29Mt. The Tunisian turnover rose by 8.3% to €20.7m and the EBITDA jumped by 37.5% to €5.3m, thanks to lower clinker purchases, on volumes that were just 0.3% higher at 0.44Mt. Turkish deliveries rose by 26.9% to 0.51Mt, generating a turnover 50.3% higher at €29.8m and producing an EBITDA up from €0.3m to €3.8m and cement prices were increased by around 14%.

South African turnover edged ahead by 1.3% to €33.3m on cement volumes that, helped by exports, were 5.7% higher at 0.28Mt in a market that was off by some 10%. Lower prices and higher energy costs combined to lower the EBITDA by 23.9% to €11.8m. In Mozambique, turnover improved by 19.1% to €22.8m but the EBITDA was off by 4.2% to €3.1m, because of higher maintenance costs. Cement volumes were 8.7% lower as high prices attracted imports.

Chinese volumes advanced by 45.1% to 0.81Mt thanks to strong regional demand, with turnover shooting ahead by 125.4% and the EBITDA turning positive to the tune of €4.4m. In India, cement volumes were 0.7% higher at 0.27Mt, with turnover improving by 11.4% to €15.6m, but the EBITDA declined by 3.5% to €2.8m in a competitive market, where a 9% price increase just covered the increase in energy costs.