Harsh winter weather conditions, along with the continued subdued output of the European construction sector, have dampened the first quarter results of Italian cement producer Italcementi.
Group revenue dropped 9.3% from January to March 2013 to €964.8 million, compared with the same period in 2012.
According to Italcementi, revenue performance was affected by the “fall in sales volumes, whose impact was countered only in part by the sales price dynamic. At constant exchange rates and on a like-for-like basis, progress was reported in the Asian countries, in Egypt and in Bulgaria, while the most significant decreases were in Central Western Europe and Trading.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also showed a decline, down 32.7% to €88.5 million.
In cement and clinker, sales volumes showed a significant reduction in Europe and in North Africa, in the latter area due to bad weather conditions in Morocco and energy procurement difficulties in Egypt.
In North America, which also suffered poor weather in March, sales volumes showed a small reduction overall, while performance was strong in Asia, where all countries reported growth. The company recorded a total sales output of 10 million tonnes.
In aggregates, with sales of 7 million tonnes, the reduction arose from performance in Central Western Europe, which was offset to only a modest degree by the strong growth in Morocco.
In ready mixed concrete, the downturn in Central Western Europe fuelled a reduction in sales volumes in the entire segment, countered in part by healthy performance in Emerging Europe, North Africa and Middle East (Egypt) and Asia (Thailand).
With first quarter figures largely affected by the weather and not adverse trading conditions, Italcementi has announced it forecasts total year EBITDA to remain stable compared with 2012. Recurring EBITDA for 2012 was €632.4 million