Cementir looks to mature markets

Cementir looks to mature markets
10 March 2017

Cementir Holding released its 2016 results this week and relied on its Malaysian and Scandinavian operations to offset poor results in its Italian market.

"Strong performance in the Scandinavian countries and Malaysia have substantially offset lower earnings in Turkey, Egypt and Italy. Also Group results have been negatively affected by the depreciation of the Turkish lira and, since the Brexit vote, the British pound, together with the fall in the value of the Egyptian pound and geographical events in Turkey and Egypt," said the company in a statement.

The multinational cement producer has a growing portfolio, having acquired Compagnie des Ciments Belges (CCB) in 2016 as well as the Sacci Cement group in Italy. Other group subsidiaries owned by the cement producer include Sinai Cement, Aalborg Portland and Cimentas in Turkey. Only 10 per cent of the company’s revenue is now derived from its Italian operations, according to Cementir’s website.

The company aims to further integrate Sacci and CCB during 2017. As a result of these additions the mature market accounts now for 67 per cent of the group’s portfolio and the company estimates that this may further increase to 73 per cent by 2019.

With 56 per cent of its business originating in Nordic, Baltic and USA, these regions bring in most of Cementir’s revenue. By 2019 Cementir estimates that it will earn EUR1.4bn, up from EUR1.03bn in 2016. In terms of the contributions of other group areas, eastern Mediterranean operations are expected to reduce their share from 25 per cent in 2016 to 22 per cent in 2019. Asia will see its share fall from eight to six per cent in the same period. However, the central Mediterranean business is forecast to account for 15 per cent in 2019, up from 11 per cent in 2016.

White cement continues to offer diversity among the company’s products with Aalborg operating in Malaysia and China, through Sinai White Cement in Egypt and Lehigh White cement in the USA. Chinese white cement sales increased by 16 per cent in 2016, but profits were reduced by the unfavourable trends in prices and a fall in exports, said Cementir. The company benefitted more in Malaysia where white cement and clinker volumes rose by 2.8 per cent and Cementir was helped further by increased average export prices, primarily to Australia, while export volumes were also up by four per cent with higher sales in Vietnam and South Korea.

Cementir also has a significant ready-mix business with its Betontir subsidiary in Italy as well as Unicon (ready-mix and aggregates) operating in Norway, Sweden and USA, plus Cimbeton in Turkey.

The main business plan targets for the group up to 2019 include improving profitability in all geographical regions, strengthening its leadership in white cement and generating higher cash flows.

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