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Portland Valderrivas' EBITDA rose 15.8%


Portland Valderrivas' EBITDA rose 15.8%

The consolidated income of Cementos Portland Valderrivas was nearly one billion euros. At 978.4 million, revenues were up by 10.3% over the year before. This growth is the consequence of the strength of the Spanish market, where the company earned 12.1% more, and the recovery of its business in the United States with a 2.7% increase.

The breakdown of income by business area is as follows: 65.5% came from cement; 22.5% from concrete; 4.4% from aggregates; 2.3% from dry mortar and 5.3% from shipping and other businesses such as waste recycling. By country: 78.7% from Spain; 20.2% from the United States and 1.1% from the United Kingdom.

The gross operating profit (EBITDA) of 312.3 million euros grew by 15.8% compared to 2004 due to improved operating margins. In Spain, a new record in cement consumption was set for the ninth year in a row and in the United States the cement market is in recovery. EBITDA as a percentage of revenues increased by almost two percentage points, from 30.4% to 31.9% in 2005.

In the United States, the margins increased due to improved efficiency at the Maine and South Carolina factories, where heavy investments were made to modernise them, and due to an 11.9% increase in cement prices.

At the other factory owned by the company in the United States, in the state of Pennsylvania, a renovation process is underway to change the wet system at the clinker production plant to a dry system, which will require an investment of 150 million euros. This process, which actually involves building a new factory, will be complete by the end of 2008.

The company reported net profits of 137.1 million euros, an increase of 7.8% over 2004, as a consequence of higher tax rates, which increased from 30% the year before to 32% in 2005. The profit before tax exceeded 211.5 million euros, 11.8% higher than the 189.2 million euros reported in 2004.

The balance sheet structure at the end of the year was very satisfactory, with total assets of 1,487,300,000 euros and shareholder equity of 1,001,900,000 euros. The net indebtedness of 132.4 million euros represents only 13.2% of shareholder equity.

Thanks to the good results obtained and the cash flow generated, the Group has managed to reduce its net indebtedness by 9.1%, to 132.4 million euros, as of 31 December 2005, which represents just 13.2% of total shareholder equity. This situation facilitated the financial leveraging of the Lemona Operation which will be financed with debt.

The markets have reacted very positively to the takeover bid launched against Cements Lemona on 2 December. The tentative acceptance level of more than 95% reflects the interest of shareholders in accepting the bid and selling their shares at a price of 32 euros per share. This will allow the Cementos Portland Valderrivas Group to achieve double-digit organic growth in financial year 2006.

The company's shares have appreciated in recent weeks to a high of 79.80 euros on 15 February. Yesterday, on 20 February, its shares closed at 79.50 euros, which represents an appreciation of 15.05% compared to the end of last year and stock market capitalisation of 2.213 billion euros. The performance of the CPL value was better than that of IBEX, increasing since 1 January 2005 by 66.14% compared to 26.43% for IBEX.