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First speech of the new Chairman at the General Meeting of Shareholders

Saenz De Miera asks for commitment to overcome this complex situation

06/28/2013 | Accionistas e Inversores

The Chairman and CEO of Grupo Cementos Portland Valderrivas (GCPV), Jose Luis Saenz de Miera, called today for "the commitment of all"-shareholders, customers, employees and management- to support the company and overcome "the current complex situation", marked by the sharp decline in cement consumption in Spain.

In his first speech to the General Meeting of Shareholders, held in Madrid, Saenz de Miera was convinced that the appropriate instrument for this is the Business Plan 2012-2021, approved in May.

GCPV Chairman, who took office in February, said the cement "is a very good business" and “if the markets behave and grow normally, this company has a future“. Saenz de Miera admitted that it is a "tough and demanding" plan and that employees are being asked "a major effort", but stressed that "it is essential to get through the difficult situation that the Spanish economic environment presents." Cement consumption has gone from 56 million tons in 2007 to 13.5 in 2012, a decline of over 70%, moreover the forecasts for 2013 and 2014, are still  trending downward but “with the measures designed, we will resume the path of profitability. I'm convinced of that”, he said. However,  he also requested the support of the public authorities  who should activate measures  urgently, "to encourage the maintenance and development of infrastructures."

The  Chairman of the Group recalled that "precisely for this downward trend in consumption, the company has reviewed the Business Plan 2012-2016 and extended it to 2021." This review includes to go further on the adjustment measures in the Plan NewVal 2012-2013. The Group will adjust the activity of its cement plants in  Spain to the market situation, which will involve the submission of dossiers of temporary employment regulation (Erte). Also, resize the remaining business-concrete, aggregates and mortar-and maintain only the facilities profitable or strategic. As a result of these measures, the corporate structure will also be resized. The Management of the Group has already communicated two dossiers of employment regulation (ERE) to the Unions to start negotiations.

The Chairman reviewed the results of the Group in 2012, which generated a loss of 147.1 million Euros, 55% less than in 2011. This improvement is due to minor extraordinary adjustments and to the NewVal Plan implementation. The turnover fell by 13% to 653.7 million, despite the good performance of U.S. and Tunisia, with a turnover up 17% and 31%, increases that were not enough to offset the decline in the Spanish market.

Saenz de Miera mentioned the agreement reached with the Irish group CRH, which was announced in February this year but was conceived during the last months of 2012. Cementos Portland Valderrivas gave the Group Lemona in exchange for the 26.34% stake CRH had in Uniland. The operation reduces the Spanish market exposure and increases the weight of international business, as U.S. and Tunisia assets are the property of Uniland. Additionally, the Irish company acquired the terminal of Ipswich (UK) for 22 million Euros. GCPV maintains its British market access through the terminal of Sharpness.

The General Meeting of Shareholders approved the annual accounts and management reports for 2012 and ratified the appointment as directors of the company of José Luis Sáenz de Miera, Juan Béjar -GCPV’s previous chairman and current vice president and CEO of FCC- and Lourdes Martinez Zabala.

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