Cimpor's turnover fell only marginally by 0.2 per cent to €2,085.5m last year, thanks to the increased scope of consolidation and the strength of the Egyptian cement demand offsetting the weaknesses in the Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish markets. Helped by better overall margins, the EBITDA improved by 3.3 per cent to €605.9m. Although the trading profit declined by 15.7 per cent to €376.9m, a 53.1 per cent reduction in the net financial charge led to a 21.5 per cent increase in the pre-tax profit to €313.8m. The net debt at the end of December declined by 8.8 per cent and the gearing level came down from 109.2 per cent to 88.3 per cent. The cement and clinker shipments improved by 2.2 per cent to 27.4m tonnes as underlying reductions in Portuguese and Spanish volumes were more than made up for by the growth in Egypt and in Asia as well as the increased scope of consolidation. The group cement production capacity was raised from 31.0m tonnes to 33.5m tonnes during the year, with new capacity coming on stream in Turkey and in China.