HeidelbergCement's nine-month turnover improved by 5.8% to €8,876.6m, with the third quarter increase being 12.6%. The EBITDA emerged 2.2% ahead at €1,641.6m and the trading profit was 1.8% higher at €1,046.7m. After a financial interest charge 12.1% lower at €566.2m, the pre-tax profit advanced by 5.0% to €464.4m while the net attributable profit dropped by 42.0% to €243.0m, as there was no repetition of the previous year's tax credit. The net debt at the end of September was 3.6% lower at €8,647m and the gearing level came down from 81.9% to 71.3%. Capital investment was up by 5.0% to €411.3m in the period, while spending on acquisitions declined by 31.2% to €12.4m. Group cement and clinker shipments were off by 0.6% to 58.8Mt. Turnover from international trading activities rose by 42.4% to €541m, but the EBITDA dropped by 44.5% to €16m. The trading volume of HC Trading rose by 11.2% to 7.4Mt. The cement volume did decline, but this was more than offset by a strong rise in clinker volume traded.
The northern & western European business saw turnover edge ahead by 1.2% to €2,904m, but the EBITDA declined by 11.9% to €458m. Cement and clinker volumes declined by 5.8% to 15.0Mt, though by the third quarter levels had stabilised. Only in Sweden and in Great Britain were cement deliveries ahead in the nine months, though the British slag volumes were well down. Sweden is benefiting from less competitive pressure than elsewhere in the Nordic area. German volumes suffered from weak domestic demand and falling exports. In eastern Europe & central Asia, turnover came down by 14.3% to €864m and the EBITDA fell by 29.2% to €215m. Cement and clinker deliveries were down by 13.1% to 10.8Mt, but in the third quarter volumes were ahead in Poland, Romania, the Ukraine, Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan. Poland even achieved record volumes in the third quarter and improved further in September. Hungary and the Czech Republic, on the other hand, remain weak, with Hungarian volumes off by about 60%, about 1Mt.
North American turnover improved by 1.2% to €2,318m and the EBITDA improved by 26.3% to €362m. North American cement shipments were 2.9% lower at 7.62Mt, though Canadian volumes were ahead, but the USA suffers from continued weak demand and increased capacity.
In the Asia-Pacific area, turnover rose by 23.8% to €1,918m and the EBITDA improved by 27.0% to €542m. Cement and clinker shipments advanced by 9.8% to 19.6Mt. Indocement increased cement and clinker volumes by 7.9%, even though export shipments were cut back and an additional 1.5Mt of annual grinding capacity was commissioned in August. A further 2Mt of grinding capacity is under construction and an integrated works is under consideration, but the location has yet to be decided. The Chinese associates increased shipments by 0.5% and Indian volumes were slightly lower, but strong growth was experienced in Bangladesh.
Africa and the Mediterranean saw turnover advance by 8.4% to €694m and the EBITDA emerged 0.8% higher at €120m. Cement shipments rose by 13.0% to 6.1Mt. African cement volumes rose by 10.0% thanks to the strength in the important markets of Ghana, Tanzania and Togo as well as good performances in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Turkish joint venture Akçansa increased both domestic and export shipments, resulting in a volume increase of 17.8%.