Preliminary figures indicate that HeidelbergCement achieved a turnover in the region of EUR14,200m last year. That would represent an increase approaching 31% on the previous year’s EUR10,862.3m, which included Hanson for only four months. The trading profit is expected to have exceeded EUR2000m, compared with the EUR1804.8m achieved in 2007. The integration of Hanson has now largely been completed and synergy benefits of some EUR135m were achieved last year, which was ahead of the management’s initial target. Over the next two to three years, HeidelbergCement aims to divest of most, if not all, of its activities outside its core areas of cement, aggregates and concrete, and negotiations are already in hand to sell the German lime business. The group may also divest of some cement interests in markets where there are no prospects of vertical integration.
Group cement and clinker deliveries rose by approximately 1.5% last year to over 89Mt, compared with 87.9Mt in 2007. The aggregates volume saw the Hanson effect the most and deliveries increased by 66.5% to 299Mt compared with 179.4Mt, while ready-mixed concrete shipments were 34.5% higher at 44Mm³, up from 32.7Mm³, with Hanson in boosting the numbers, particularly in Great Britain, Spain, Australia and Asia.
While HeidelbergCement is clearly going to suffer from the reduction in global economic activity this year, measures announced by several governments to combat the recession by increasing spending on the infrastructure ought to start showing benefits for the group from the autumn onwards.