Vicat’s turnover for the first nine months of the year improved by 5.9% to EUR1528m, which represents an underlying advance of just 0.5%. The gearing level increased from 35.9% a year earlier to 40.6% at the end of September. This increase reflects the acquisition of Bharathi Cement in India at the beginning of May. The turnover in cement rose by 8.8% to EUR784m, with cement deliveries increasing by 10.7% to 12.12Mt.
The French turnover declined by 0.9% over the nine months to €635m. Cement turnover was off by 1.2% and volumes continued to recover after a poor start to the year, while prices were slightly weaker in the north-east and in the south-east of France. The Swiss operations experienced a 15.9% increase in turnover from cement thanks to increased work under ground that was not affected by the adverse climatic conditions. The average price, though, did ease because of a less favourable geographical mix. Italy presented a disappointing picture, with turnover down by 48% on the back of much lower volumes.
In the United States, turnover declined by 12.8% to €131m. The cement turnover fell by 16.3%, with continued weakness in California, but some volume improvement in the south-east. Prices were weaker both in California and in the south-east.
Turnover in Asia jumped by 61.1% to €189m, helped by the initial consolidation of Bharathi Cement, which sold 702,000 of cement during the five months it was consolidated, good for a turnover of €35m. The Turkish turnover rose by 22.1% to €154m, with cement volumes rising by 8.7% and there were increased sales into the domestic market at the expense of exports. In concrete and aggregates turnover rose by 33.2% on the back of a 29.1% rise in volumes. The new works in Kazakhstan should be completed before the end of the year, but, because of climatic conditions, an impact will only be felt in the new year.
In Africa and Egypt, turnover moved ahead by 7.6% to €334m, which represents an underlying improvement of 6.0%. In Egypt, turnover rose by 8.5% to almost €160m on the back of a 7.3% volume improvement, with the third quarter advance being almost 19%. The western African turnover was up by a more modest 3.8%. Volumes there were ahead by in excess of 6% but the average price came down, largely a reflection of a different geographical mix.