Buzzi Unicem

Buzzi Unicem's 2010 turnover declined by 0.9% to €2648m, with scope changes and exchange rate movements having a positive effect and the underlying turnover was down by 5.4%. Net debt at the end of December was 4.8% higher at €1267m. The group cement volumes improved by 4.3% last year to 26.6Mt, but domestic deliveries in Italy, the Czech Republic and the United States were lower. Deliveries of ready-mixed concrete recovered by 3.5% to 14.4Mm³, but were lower in Italy and in the Czech Republic.

The Italian turnover declined by 13.1% to €614m and Buzzi Unicem's cement shipments, however, increased by 5.5% to 6.4Mt, but domestic cement deliveries were down by 5.0% and the increased volumes came entirely from exports and from the sale of clinker. The price competition intensified and average selling prices dropped by in excess of 22%. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 4.6%, but prices were comparatively stable, with the average price being down by 3.9%.

In Western Europe, turnover improved by 3.8% to €730m, with Germany accounting for some 75% of this. The German turnover increased by 3.9% to €548m thanks to an increased scope of consolidation and would have been 2.5% lower on a comparable basis. Cement shipments were just 0.5% lower at some 4.7Mt, but average prices declined by 3.1%. The initial consolidation of 'Sibobeton' for six months resulted in a 20.5% increase in ready-mixed concrete deliveries, but prices declined by 4.9%. The Luxembourg turnover advanced by 10.8% to €92m on the back of better volumes and prices, with cement deliveries increasing by 7.8% to 1.0Mt and prices improved by 1.3%. In the Netherlands, turnover edged ahead by 0.5% to €113m, with ready-mixed concrete volumes improving by 1.4% and prices by 0.4%

Helped by a stronger zloty, Polish turnover improved by 6.6% to €129m. Cement deliveries increased by 7.3%, but prices in local currency declined by 7.5% because of weak demand early in the year and additional competitor capacity coming on steam. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes improved by 5.3% but prices fell by 10.1%. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, turnover declined by 9.7% to €159m as volumes fell by 8.3% in cement and by 8.1% in ready-mixed concrete.

The Ukrainian turnover recovered by 9.3% to €82m as the economy strengthened in the second half. Cement deliveries increased by 11.0% but local prices fell by 9.9% though the cost base improved thanks to the commissioning of coal mills. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries recovered by 19.0%, though the average price came down by 4.6%. In Russia, the turnover advanced by 25.6% to €124m, or by 14.6% net of the exchange rate effect. Russian demand is recovering strongly and cement shipments advanced by 35.1%. The new 1.2Mt per annum dry process production line at Suchoi Log came on stream in August. Prices had been in decline and only began rising in the autumn, with the average price being 17.6% lower than in 2009.

In the United States, turnover was off by 1.9% to €601m, but in dollar terms the underlying decline was a more noticeable 6.8%. Cement deliveries declined by 1.3%, having fallen by 24.2% in the previous year, but improving volumes were experienced in the final five months. Prices continued to suffer from the weakness in US demand and fell by an average 8.8%. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were helped by good orders in the Texas market and rose by 6.5%. Prices, however, remained weak and declined by 7.6%.  
The 50%-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma improved volumes in the second half, giving a 2.1% increase for the year, with prices being 0.3% higher in local currency. The new Apazàn works in the state of Veracruz came on stream in November, adding 1.3Mt of annual capacity. In ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 11.0% on stable prices. Turnover for the year improved by 18.3% to €213m, helped by a strong Mexican currency. At constant exchange rates, the increase would have been a more modest 5.3%.

In February, Buzzi Unicem acquired a cement terminal at Joliet, Illinois on the Des Plaines River was a storage capacity of 27,000 tonnes from the family-owned concrete and aggregates producer Ozinga Bros.