Vicat holds sales steady in first half of 2013

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France: The Vicat Group has reported that its sales rose by 1.7% year-on-year to Euro1.15bn in the first half of 2013 from Euro1.13bn in the same period of 2012. The group's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) remained static year-on-year at Euro201m.

" Performance in Turkey, Kazakhstan and the United States improved substantially, making up for the tough competitive environment in India and the uncertainty that continues to prevail in Egypt. Operating performance in France also improved despite the persistently unfavourable market climate," said Vicat chief executive officer Guy Sidos.

Vicat's cement sector saw its volumes increase by 3.8% year-on-year to 9.21Mt from 8.87Mt. Operational sales increased slightly by 1.2% to Euro693m from Euro685m. EBITDA for the cement sector fell by 5.2% to Euro147m from Euro155m.

By region for its cement business, sales in France fell by 10.5% in the first half of 2013, mostly caused by a poor first quarter and a decline in export markets. Vicat declined to present specific figures for certain territories. In Switzerland its cement business saw its EBITDA fall by 6.2% and in Italy sales fell by 16%. In the US sales rose by 4.1% with strong growth from new infrastructure projects.

In Turkey sales rose by 18.9% due to volume and price rises. In India overall sales rose by 18.4% to Euro87.3m as Vicat built up its cement businesses. However competition, increased production costs and start-up costs for Vicat Sagar caused EBITDA to fall by 77.7%. In Kazakhstan overall sales rose by 42.8% to Euro38.9m. In Egypt sales fell by 11.8% to Euro47.2m despite a sharp increase in prices. In West Africa sales fell by 4.1% due to a fall in prices.

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