Italy: Italcementi has reported a 51.7% fall in third quarter net profits to Euro25m despite the sale of its assets in Turkey earlier in 2011.
The profit over the nine months to 30 September 2011 was up at Euro123.2m from Euro18.5m in 2010, with the group saying that cement sales were up in Belgium, France, North America and in the emerging markets of India, Morocco and Thailand. Total group sales remained almost unchanged at Euro3.6bn for the same period. Italcementi's cement sector reported Euro2.3bn for the first nine months of 2011, a drop of 8.4% from Euro2.5bn in the same period in 2010. Cement sales volumes remained steady at 38.9Mt. The group reported a contraction in Egypt due to the civil unrest there and said there was, "stagnation in some industrialised economies."
"The positive results seen on emerging markets where, with the exception of Egypt, sales volumes rose by around 3%, confirms their strategic importance," said Italcementi's chief executive Carlo Pesenti in a statement. "More than 60% of our production capacity is located in these regions and this will increase in the near future with the new development projects recently set up in India," Pesenti continued.
The group said the profit fall was due to 'the unfavourable dynamic of operating costs and exchange rate effects' Italcementi sold equity investments in Turkey for Euro133.4m earlier in 2011 and said it would continue with cost cutting.
"While the Egyptian market will still be affected by political instability and increased local competition, the rest of the group should generate improved operating results, also thanks to positive price trends in Italy," it said. "In the fourth quarter, the group should record a decline in operating results that will be less than those of the previous quarters," it said, adding that it expected a 'significant improvement' in net profit for 2011 overall.