Vicat’s cement sales ahead, the rest in decline

Vicat’s cement sales ahead, the rest in decline
Published: 02 February 2010

Vicat saw turnover decline by 7.8% in 2009 to €1,896.0m, which represents an underlying reduction of 9.1%.  Turnover in cement improved by 2.3% to €950.3m, but aggregates and concrete showed a 17.7% reduction to €695.5m, and other activities registered an 11.7% decline to €250.2m.  Cement accounted for 52.1% of the turnover, compared with 45.1% in the previous year, while the concrete and aggregates share fell from 41.1% to 33.4%.  Group cement deliveries did improve by 2.0% to 14.51Mt, while downstream volumes fell.  Aggregates shipments declined by 13.5% to 18.68Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries dropped by 15.0% to 7.12Mm³.

The French turnover declined by 17.0% to €844m, with most of the reduction occurring in the first in the first quarter, when the rate of reduction was aggravated difficult weather conditions as well as the economic decline.  In the first quarter, cement volumes dropped by 23.6% and then gradually fared better in each successive quarter and the reduction in the final quarter was down to 5.7%.  Cement volumes for the full year showed a 14.7% reduction, but average prices did improve.  Aggregates shipments fell by some 22% and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by almost 23%.  In other activities, building chemicals did comparatively well, while the transport operations suffered most.  In the rest of Europe, turnover improved by 5.3% to €298m.  The Swiss cement turnover rose by almost 9% for the second year in a row as volumes improved during the second half and full year volumes increased by more than 5%.  Swiss concrete and aggregates turnover improved by 1%, with  volumes being stable in aggregates volumes but declining in ready-mixed concrete, while pre-cast concrete sale were down by 3%.  The Italian turnover fell by 12.7% on lower volumes in a weak economic environment.

In the United States turnover, 59% of which was generated in ready-mixed concrete, fell by 30.4% to €186.6m, which represents an underlying reduction of 35.8%.  Both volumes and prices declined, with the turnover in cement falling by 34.9%, though some relative improvement was being seen in the southeast in the final quarter, but not in California.  The underlying deterioration in the ready-mixed concrete volume for the year was 36.2%, again with California performing worse than the southeastern states.