Buzzi Unicem expects general improvements

Buzzi Unicem expects general improvements
Published: 09 February 2011

Buzzi Unicem’s 2010 turnover declined by 0.9% to €2,648m, of which Dyckerhoff accounted for €1413m and that represented a 3.2% improvement. Scope changes and exchange rate movements both had a positive effect and the underlying turnover was down by 5.4%. 

Net debt hat the end of December was 4.8% higher at €1267m, with the main expenditure having been on the additional clinker and cement capacity at Suchoi Log in Russia and on Apazàpan in Mexico. 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.

The Italian turnover declined by 13.1% to €614m, with the main reduction coming in commercial building and housebuilding, but civil engineering also suffered from cuts in public expenditure. 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.

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.

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.

The Ukrainian turnover recovered by 9.3% to €82m as the economy strengthened in the second half.  Cement deliveries increased by 11% but local prices fell by 9.9% though the cost base improved thanks to the commissioning of coal mills, eliminating the need to burn expensive, imported, gas.

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.

The 50%-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma saw 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 1.3Mta of capacity.