Vicat - February 2016

Vicat's turnover improved by 1.5 per cent in 2015 to EUR2458m, which translates into an underlying decline of 4.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Turnover in cement advanced by 0.8 per cent to EUR1495m, or EUR1256m after deducting inter-group transfers. Aggregates and concrete sales improved by 3.6 per cent to EUR914m, while other activities saw turnover edging ahead by 0.4 per cent to EUR400m. Cement accounted for 53.4 per cent of turnover, little changed from the 53.7 per cent shown for the previous year. The concrete and aggregates share recovered from 31.9 per cent to 32.5 per cent while other activities accounted for 14.2 per cent, down from 14.4 per cent. Group cement deliveries declined by 3.6 per cent to 19.79Mt. Aggregates shipments eased by 1.3 per cent to 20.95Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries did improve by 3.2 per cent to 8.54m m³.

Turnover in France declined by 6.5 per cent to EUR777m though the final quarter saw a four per cent improvement, helped by favourable climatic conditions. Cement turnover declined by 4.8 per cent to EUR342m as volumes came off by a further two per cent, though there was a near 13 per cent volume improvement in the final quarter though pricing did deteriorate, not helped by a shifting geographical mix. The aggregates tonnage came down by more than nine per cent, but the average price did show some improvement, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were off by almost 10 per cent and prices were a bit lower, giving an overall turnover reduction in ready-mixed concrete and aggregates division of 11.5 per cent to EUR374m, compared with a reduction in 4.9 per cent in the previous year. In other activities, the turnover improved by 1.1 per cent to EUR229m, but eased by 2.2 per cent on a consolidated group basis.

In the rest of Europe, turnover did show a 1.7 per cent improvement to EUR425m, but this is entirely the result of the strength of the Swiss currency against the euro and there was an underlying decline of 10.2 per cent. The Swiss operation does dominate the turnover. The Swiss cement turnover was 3.1 per cent ahead but in Swiss franc terms there was a 9.4 per cent reduction as volumes came off by almost 7 per cent and pricing weakened. The concrete and aggregates turnover contracted by 9.8 per cent in local currency but were 2.6 per cent ahead on conversion. Volumes were down by more than seven per cent in aggregates and by more  than 11 per cent in redy-mixed concrete. In the pre-cast concrete business the consolidated turnover was down by 8.4 per cent in euro terms, largely reflecting the completion of a large order for railway sleepers. In Italy turnover came off by 27.5 per cent, with volumes falling by more than a uarter. 

The US turnover improved by 38.7 per cent to EUR342m, but in local currency the increase was a more modest 15.7 per cent, with the final quarter showing a rise of 14.5 per cent at constant exchange rates. The cement turnover increased by 49.4 per cent, or by 23.6 per cent in dollar terms as volumes advanced by almost 15 per cent and prices rise more strongly in California. The Southeast showing the stronger volume improvement. Turnover in ready-mixed concrete increased by 34.4 per cent, or +12.2 per cent in dollars, on the back of a volume increase of over seven per cent, with most of the volume increase being seen in California. The fourth quarter volume increase was a more modest 30 per cent to four per cent.

Overall Asian turnover increased by 7.1 per cent, or by 3.1 per cent on a comparable basis, to EUR568m. Turnover in Turkey improved by an underlying 6.4 per cent to EUR234m, though in euro terms the improvement was more modest at 2.4 per cent. The final-quarter sales improvement was 19.3 per cent in local currency. The Turkish cement turnover rose by 3.5 per cent, in local currency and the volume was by almost five per cent while prices were slightly lower, at least the the market served by the Konya works. Turnover in aggregates and concrete was ahead by 17.8 per cent, ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 22 per cent and aggregates volumes were ahead by 15 per cent but prices were slightly weaker.

In India the turnover improved by 16.5 per cent, or by 2.3 per cent at constant scope and exchange rates, to EUR230m. Cement shipments declined by 11 per cent but remained in excess of 4Mt. Selling prices improved by almost 16 per cent. The fourth-quarter turnover increased by 3.7 per cent on volumes that were two per cent higher. In Kazakhstan volumes at the Jambul Cement works were raised by over five per cent, but prices were under severe pressure and the turnover declined by 8.3m to EUR65m, while cement shipments exceeded 1.3Mt.

The West African and Egyptian turnover declined by 12.9 per cent to EUR346m. In Egypt turnover was off by 18.5 per cent to EUR­113m with volumes being more than seven per cent lower and prices declined. The fourth quarter saw an underlying fall in prices of 38.1 per cent, with supplies being affected by works on the tunnel under the Suez Canal.

In west Africa turnover declined by 15.6 per cent and volumes were off by 12 per cent, in part reflecting the arrival of a third producer. Turnover in the final quarter declined by 17.2 per cent on the back of a volume decline in excess of 10 per cent.