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RHI’s cement and lime business shows growth

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World Cement,

RHI’s Industrial Division reported revenues of €270.6 million in 1H17, a 2% increase on the same period last year, on the back of higher deliveries to the cement/lime and glass industries, especially in China. Sales volumes in 1H17 were 0.213 million t – up 9.2% year on year.

RHI’s cement/lime business unit saw its contribution to revenue increase by around 4% compared with 1H16. Growth was seen in both the straight-line business, as well as the project business, which includes installation.

Within the project business, “some major contracts have been concluded [that] indicate a strong business development in 2H17,” the company said in its interim results. Bright spots of activity included China – despite a challenging market there – and Africa, where some larger contracts were delivered in Algeria and South Africa.

“In contrast, business in India and southeast Asia fell short of expectations,” the company continued, although it had picked up in the past few months. Activity in the Middle East was also down as low oil priced reduced investment in infrastructure and the demand for cement. This was particularly evident in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where plants were closed.

Looking ahead, RHI anticipates significantly increased sales volumes through the second half of the year on the back of “continuing good development of the straight-line business and major contracts, which will be delivered in 2H17.”

The company also warned that prices would rise, a result of substantial price increases in the market prices for sintered magnesia – a key raw material in refractory production. This has been driven by a supply shortage in China. The cement/lime business was “currently working on the implementation of these increases.”

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