Asia will drive cement growth, says Italcementi chief executive

Asia will drive cement growth, says Italcementi chief executive
16 March 2015

Italcementi Group foresees stronger growth of 2-3 per cent this year, with the key driver being Asia, backed by economic recoveries in the European Union and North America.

Given the expected stronger growth, the group plans to expand its businesses to African countries such as Mozambique, Ghana and Tanzania, CEO Carlo Pesenti said during an interview with The Nation last week. "The company foresees better performance in Asia, including Thailand, with revenue for the continent projected to grow 3-6 per cent this year, while overall growth for the company will be 2-3 per cent," he said.

Italcementi reported consolidated global revenue of EUR4.15bn for last year, down 1.8 per cent from the 2013 level due to economic stagnation in the EU.

This year, Pesenti said the areas in which the group operated would see a recovery in North America and Asia, growth in the volume of demand in Egypt, and relative demand stability in Mediterranean Europe, although the market would weaken in France. The chief executive said he saw Asia, including Thailand and India, plus Africa as areas of great potential, as emerging growth required more investment in infrastructure development.

Economic recovery in the euro-zone would also make the group's business expansion more stable.

"The results achieved last year confirm the validity of the action plan we have been implementing in recent years, culminating with the operating start-up of the strategic investments completed during the year in Italy and Bulgaria," Pesenti said.

This capacity exceeds targets and could rise with the additional initiatives the company has planned, including an important wind farm in Egypt to counter local energy shortages, which have been limiting the group's cement-production capacity in recent months, he said. In addition to boosting industrial efficiency, the group has strengthened its focus on innovative materials and services with high added value.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Italcementi Thailand