HeidelbergCement's turnover increased by 9.7% last year to €12,901.9m while the EBITDA improved by 3.6% to €2320.7m. At the trading level, the improvement was 3.2% to €1376.6m and the net interest charge was 6.8% lower at €545.8m and the total financial charge fell by 20.7% to €582.4m. This led to a 32.6% increase in the pre-tax profit by to €794.2m. After a virtual quadrupling of the tax charge and a 10.6% increase in minorities, the net attributable profit emerged just 1.6% higher at €348.1m. The net debt at the end of the year was 4.8% lower at €7740m and the gearing ratio fell by 62.9% to 57%. Capital investment was increased by 10% to €959m, while the number of employees was reduced by 1.7% to 52,526.
Group deliveries of cementitious materials increased by 12% to 87.8Mt, but the international trading volume did see a 9.2% decline to 8.7Mt. That reduction came primarily in sales to North Africa. The biggest volumes of cement and clinker supplied went to Africa and Bangladesh. The aggregates shipments improved by 6% to 254.1Mt, ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 11.7% to 39.1Mm³ and sales of asphalt improved by 4.8% to 9.54Mt.
The Western and Northern Europe turnover increased by 13.3% to €4318m but the EBITDA advanced more modestly by 7.4% to €734m. Turnover in cementitious materials improved by 10.5% to €1796m and that of aggregates rose by 13% to €870m, while other construction materials produced a 7% improvement to €464m. The cement tonnage rose by 12.4% to 22.15Mt, with improving volumes across the Nordic area and in Belgium, Germany and Great Britain. German cement volumes rose by 16% in 2011, but are expected to ease a little in 2012.
In Eastern European and Central Asia, turnover advanced by 22.3% to €1392m and the EBITDA recovered 9.3% to €327m. Turnover in cement rose by 25.2% to €1083m and that of aggregates a more modest 8.3% to €135m. Tonnages advanced by 22.3% in cement to 17.36Mt and by 7.8% to 21.87Mt in aggregates, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 18.9% lower at 4.58Mm³. Cement deliveries improved strongly in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan, while domestic sales in Hungary and Bosnia-Hercegovina declined further. The margin achieved in cement declined because of lower receipts from the sale of emission certificates.
North American turnover edged ahead by 0.1% to €3035m, but the EBITDA did improve by 5.7% to €473m. Turnover in cement was up by 0.3% to €886m and the aggregates turnover by 1.7% to €937m, but in other construction products there was a 2.1% decline to €693m. Deliveries of cementitious materials increased by 6.4% to 10.64Mt, with the volume improvement being mainly in California, Texas and the Canadian Prairie provinces. While margins fell in cement, they improved in aggregates and in building products. Cement deliveries in the USA increased by 6% during the first two months of 2012.
The Asia-Pacific turnover improved by 13.4% to €2957m, but the EBITDA eased by 1% to €711m. The cement turnover rose by 12% to €1732m, with aggregates improving by 17.5% to €524m. Cement deliveries increased by 8.4% to 28.83Mt. Indonesian domestic cement deliveries improved by 20.2% and exports were reduced by 41.5%, giving a total volume 15.3% higher at 16Mt, while aggregates and ready-mixed concrete deliveries grew by double digits. The Chinese joint ventures saw cement volumes decline by 1% to 7.2Mt. Indian deliveries increased by 7.1% and new capacities coming on-stream in 2012 should take the capacity to 6Mt. Volumes in Bangladesh were marginally lower, while a new grinding centre was completed at the year-end.
In Africa and the Mediterranean area, turnover increased by 9% to €1023m and the EBITDA improved by 5.3% to €164m. Turnover in cement rose by 12.3% to €726m as the volume advanced by 10.9% to 9.14Mt. The African subsidiaries increased cement deliveries by 16.6% to 6.1Mt, or an underlying increase of 10.5%, with the strongest growth coming from Ghana, Sierra Leone, Benin and Gabon. Production is close to capacity and additional capacity is under construction in Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania and the Congo, with additional capacity also being planned for Burkina Faso and Togo. The Turkish joint venture Akçansa increased cement and clinker volumes by 1.1% to 7.7Mt, with exports being reduced to be able to sell more into the strong domestic market.
HeidelbergCement has commissioned the largest ball mill in Europe at its Gorazdze works in Poland. It has an annual grinding capacity of 1.4Mt, which increases HeidelbergCement's Polish grinding capacity to 5.6Mta. The clinker capacity at Gorazdze was increased from 3.1Mta to 4Mta last year.
Indocement in Indonesia is expecting to sell 20.6Mt in 2012 and aims to increase its annual capacity to 30Mta by 2017. This will come from 1.9Mta of additional grinding capacity at the Citeureup works next year, a new 4.4Mta works at Citeureup and two new 2.5Mta works, one on central Java and the other at a location yet to be disclosed.