HeidelbergCement’s first quarter turnover declined by 7.6% to €2,179.7m and the EBITDA was down by 15.0% to €171.4m. The trading level, there was a swing from a €11.3m profit into a €18.2m loss. The net interest charge increased by 5.7% to €144.6m and the pre-tax loss increased by 11.7% to €217.8m and the net attributable loss more than trebled to €198.9m. Capital investment was reduced by 11.6% to €117.4m, while spending on acquisitions dropped from €9.9m to €3.8m, with capital investment for the full year expected to amount to about €850m. Net debt was 0.4% ahead at €12,125m to give a gearing level of 141.1%, compared with 140.3% a year earlier.
Group cement and clinker shipments declined by 5.4% to 15.2Mt. International trading volume rose by 26.9% to 2.3Mt, with cement only marginally ahead and virtually all the increase coming from clinker trading. Total trading, which also includes fuel, was 20.5% ahead at €143m. Shipments of aggregates declined by 9.5% to 40.3Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 8.8% lower at 6.9Mm³ and the asphalt volume fell by 21.7% to 1.4Mt.
In Western & Northern Europe, the turnover declined by 13.8% to €714m and the EBITDA dropped by 85.3% to just €8m. North American turnover fell by 19.9% to €497m and the EBITDA loss widened from €2m to €12m, reflecting the difficulties in the US market, both in terms of economic performance and weather conditions.
The Asia-Pacific area showed the strongest performance, with turnover advancing by 19.1% to €568m and the EBITDA growing by 43.6% to 161m. In cement, turnover grew by 40.2% to €344m and the EBITDA margin improved from 30.1% to 36.6% as cement and clinker shipments advanced by 17.2% to 6.1Mt.
In Africa and the Mediterranean rim, turnover eased by 0.3% to €216m and the EBITDA was static at €37m. Group sales of cementitious materials advanced by 2.1% to €150m as cement shipments grew by 19.7% to 2Mt and the EBITDA margin widened from 20.1% to 22.0%.