Sales rose in the first half for Portuguese cement company Cimpor, with double-digit growth in Argentina, Paraguay and Mozambique, along with an above average increase in Portugal and South Africa offsetting decreases in Brazil and Egypt compared with the first half of 2014.

It said sales increased by 4.8% to €1.3 billion over the same period last year, combining the favourable effects of average price and exchange rate.

Sales of cement and clinker of around 13 million tonnes were said to reflect good performances in Argentina, Paraguay, Mozambique and Portugal.

Cimpor said that while benefiting from its “balanced geographical exposure”, its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) slowed to 3% when compared to the first half of 2014, in a period “marked by adversity” in Brazil.

In other parts of the world, “dynamic EBITDA generation” was said to provide growth of 37%. It said this was a result of the better performance of most business units, particularly evident in Argentina, which led the contributions to consolidated EBITDA, but also in Portugal and Paraguay, which both showed substantial growth.

In Argentina, Cimpor claimed a new sales record along with continuous improvement of operating performance, while in Portugal, higher sales to the domestic market enabled EBITDA growth, it said. In South Africa, its EBITDA grew thanks to a price recovery and the effect of exchange rates.

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