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Cementos Portland Valderrivas: 250 million euro in EBITDA in the first half of 2008


Cementos Portland Valderrivas: 250 million euro in EBITDA in the first half of 2008

Cementos Portland Valderrivas obtained 821 million euro in revenues in the first half of 2008, a 15.7% decline but in line with the weak economic situation in the industry in Spain and despite improved performance in emerging markets.

Spain accounted for 75% of revenues, and the remainder came mainly from the USA, Latin America and Tunisia.

Business in Spain in the first half was affected by delays in the award of government tenders, a sharp change in the rainfall pattern in May, and the truckers' strike in June, which halted activity for nearly a week.

The Group improved its EBITDA margin during the first half to 30.5% of revenues, just 2.3 percentage points less than in the first half of 2007. EBITDA was 21.5% lower than in the same period of 2007 due to rising costs (mainly energy and solid fuel) offset by improvements in management systems and higher sales prices.

Despite the reduction in business volume, attributed net profit amounted to 68 million euro, 36.6% less. The narrower margin was offset by an improvement in non-operating fixed costs, containment of financial costs and a reduction in the effective tax rate.

Cement consumption in Spain declined by 16.1%, and there was a sharp reduction in imports of clinker (-40.3%) and cement (-29.8%), while domestic clinker production fell by only 2.6%. The reduction in imports partly offset the decline in domestic demand. Domestic production amounted to 76% of domestic consumption, an 8.2 percentage point increase.

Because of development in Latin America and Tunisia, Cementos Portland Valderrivas operations in emerging markets gained in importance to represent 10% of total sales. In Tunisia, public works to build new infrastructure led to a significant improvement in cement demand. The US market continues to be affected by the mortgage crisis and falling new home sales.

The Cementos Portland Valderrivas group continues to implement the improvement programmes launched in 2007 with a view to integrating its activities; the initiative is scheduled to be completed this year, providing an additional 20 million euro in savings.

The Shareholders' Meeting on 28 May approved a supplementary dividend of 2.52 euro gross per share, bringing the total 2007 dividend to 3.63 euro per share (i.e. 50% of consolidated attributable profit was distributed).