At its investor event in Agadir (Morocco) - where the new cement plant in Ait Baha was presented - the Italcementi Group illustrated its medium/long-term growth guidelines, where innovative products will play an increasingly important role. Despite the continuing uncertainties in the economic climate, top management confirmed the Group’s commitment to expanding its position in emerging countries and to boosting the efficiency of its production system in industrialised nations. Given this industrial focus, estimating investment flows of approximately €3 billion for the next five years and assuming operating cash flow in line with cash flow for the past five-year period, the Italcementi Group intends to realign profitability with the significant margins reported in the period prior to the difficult world economic crisis thanks to a stronger industrial organisation and a more solid, better balanced country portfolio.
As part of the Group’s selective approach to growth opportunities based on its financial capabilities, Italcementi has begun the revamping of the Devnya cement plant in Bulgaria, where the introduction of Best Available Technologies will guarantee excellent industrial and environmental performance, with positive repercussions for economic margins. The new Devnya cement plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2012; it will raise its annual cement production capacity to approximately 3 million t, becoming one of the Group’s most important facilities.
Italcementi also announced an agreement in China’s Shaanxi province, where it already operates through the Fuping Cement subsidiary, to purchase an initial minority shareholding in the Shifeng Cement company, whose modern production line has an annual capacity of 2 million t of cement. Regarding operations in the industrialised nations, one of the Group’s next moves will be in Italy, where authorisation procedures concerning the revamping of cement plants in the northern part of the country are underway.