Vicat’s turnover for the first nine months of the year declined by 3.1% to EUR1,582.8m, which represents an underlying reduction of 1.3%. On a comparative basis, turnover in cement improved by 2.8% to EUR711m, while in aggregates and concrete there was a 5.7% reduction to EUR651m and a pretty stable (-0.4%) performance in other activities at EUR220m. The cement volume was 0.3% lower at 10.85Mt. Aggregates deliveries declined by 1.8% to 16.11Mt and sales of ready-mixed concrete were down by 3.3% to 6.50m m³ because of the drop in US volumes. Cement accounted for 44.9% of turnover in the period and concrete and aggregates for 41.2%, with other products making up the remaining 13.9%
The French turnover improved by 2.2% to EUR793m, the third quarter showed a weaker tendency than the first half. This is likely to be more pronounced in the final quarter of the year as housebuilding activity and commercial property developments weaken further, but civil engineering activity remains stable. Cement volumes were marginally ahead in the year to date, with the turnover up by almost 2%. Aggregates and concrete also reported a 2% increase in turnover with the aggregates shipments declining, but ready-mixed concrete volumes remaining stable. Other products and services registered an increase, helped by higher sales of building chemicals. The commissioning of the new cement mill at Montalieu has reduced the need for moving clinker and the electricity consumption per tonne of cement has been reduced.
In the rest of Europe, turnover edged ahead by 0.7% to EUR215m. The Swiss operations managed to increase both volumes and prices in cement and has also has done well in aggregates and ready-mixed concrete, but sales declined in concrete products. The SFr30m investment to increase the Swiss cement capacity by 0.2Mta, is now expected to be completed in the second half of 2009, a year earlier than initially planned. In the Italian operations, prices have evolved positively, but volumes began to slip in the third quarter and are likely to remain in a negative trend for the rest of the year.