Brazil: Votorantim's overall operating performance improved in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period of 2010, with cement sales increasing. The group's consolidated net revenues and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted US$3.53bn and US$851m, an increase of 11% and 1% respectively. Ebitda margin declined from 26.5% to 24.0%, impacted by its cement and steel businesses.
The groups cement interests were negatively impacted in Brazil, as a result of the exchange of certain production plants for Cimpor shares in the third quarter of 2010. Nevertheless, sales volume increased by 1% in the country and by 2% in North America. Net revenues went up by 6% to total US$1.16bn, supported by a price increase in Brazil. EBITDA decreased from US$412m to US$312m mainly due to the exchange of certain production plants for Cimpor shares. In addition, EBITDA was also impacted by higher electricity and petcoke costs in Brazil and increased inventory in North America. Votorantim's total debt decreased by 1% by the end of the first quarter of 2011 compared to the first quarter of 2010, from US$14.06bn to US$13.93bn.
Capital expenditure amounted to US$690m, mainly for expansion projects and investment in cement accounted for 47% of the total.