Suez Cement-Italcementi Group’s revenues in 2014 will exceed EGP 5.5bn according to the Group’s CEO, Bruno Carre in an interview with Daily News Egypt. The figure marks an EGP 1.0bn or 20% progression over the previous year. Carre further talked about the group’s recently launched products, their expectations and what will be introduced in 2015.
What is your outlook for the Egyptian market this year?
Egypt’s economy is set to grow in 2015, with a positive outlook for the construction industry driven by GDP growth, including infrastructure projects, housing and an expected surge in private and public investment into the country which should benefit cement consumption. We, at Italcementi, the parent company of Italgen and Suez Cement Group of Companies (SCGC), could not be more optimistic about our future here as the largest domestic cement producer and the first private firm to be licensed to produce and sell renewable energy here. Opportunities for growth abound and we are poised to take advantage of the nation’s support for key industries such as cement manufacturing.
How much did the group generate in revenues in 2014, and what are your expectations for 2015?
2014 revenues will exceed EGP5.5bn, marking an EGP 1.0bn or 20% progression over the previous year. We expect our revenues to keep growing in 2015 at a rate of 10% to 15%.
What were the products that you recently launched in Egypt?
Earlier this year, we introduced our new line of TX Active cements. The photocatalytic technology that is a signature of these products significantly reduces levels of organic and inorganic pollutants present in the air. Another product we’re extremely excited about is i.light. This precast concrete panel can transmit light thanks to special bonded resins in our mortar. Both artificial and natural lights can be seen through the panel as can images or objects, which make this a dynamic product in our line-up for exceptional jobs.
We further launched Italcementi’s i.nova product categorisation system which is designed to help customers find the perfect Italcementi product for each and every project via detailed descriptions of items, which includes the product’s performance and recommended use. The system means customers never have to worry about purchasing the wrong product again since they can tailor solutions to their construction needs quickly and efficiently, saving time in terms of research and procurement. We believe the system will be especially helpful for companies involved in the government’s proposed mega projects slated to create thousands of jobs and bolster Egypt’s construction sector, which is another economic driver.
What about new projects and products?
Another area we are looking at involves building more durable cities. In this vein, we are working to design a new type of brick that is both affordable and hard-wearing. This innovative type of brick is the perfect material for developers looking to invest in quality homes at a low price. The product will be made using a new cement binder mixed with earth and/or sand to produce soil-stabilised blocks. These blocks have a long lifecycle and can be used in apartment buildings, public and private buildings The material will also be marketed to NGO and government projects targeting low-income housing developments.
But we are not stopping there. We have also invested heavily in renewable energy efforts through our energy arm subsidiary, Italgen. In 2007, Italgen began developing the framework for a wind power project in Egypt.
How much did you invest in the renewable energy farm project? And when will it be completed?
Italgen has allocated more than €150m for the first phase to produce 120MW of power when complete – enough energy to cover 40% of SCGC’s power needs. It will also reduce the company’s CO2 emissions. Subsequent phases are set to boost power generation to 400MW. We are confident we will see the project come online in 2016.
What are the highlights of your expansion plan?
Our expansion plans are targeting renewal energy and our activities in the Gulf as in Egypt; our capacity is enough to support 40%-50% growth. 2015 will see the continuation of our heavy investments to convert our energy mix and improve our environmental impact to the best international standards.