German cement maker Dyckerhoff AG reported a 48 per cent increase in net profit for the first half of 2008, or €142m, compared to the same period a year ago.
Sales for the first half of 2008 grew 19 per cent to €964m.
In Western Europe and in Eastern Europe Dyckerhoff benefited from higher volumes and prices. In the US, the subprime crisis as well as bad weather lead to decreased volumes. Accordingly, the Germany/Western Europe and Eastern Europe divisions contributed to the sales growth, while sales of the business division in the US slowed clearly.
With earnings before interest, taxes, depreciations and amortization, or Ebitda, of €278m, Dyckerhoff achieved earnings growth of €77m for the period.
With the decision to expand capacity at the River plant, it was decided at the same time to reduce import deliveries and, as needed, to close the clinker and cement production at the old, less profitable Independence plant in Kansas. Since cement demand in the USA is declining sharply, production at the Independence plant will be suspended in advance as of the beginning of September 2008, with this location being operated thereafter as a terminal. This is the main reason for the total of €16m in increased depreciation. Earnings before taxes improved by €56m to €194m.
For 2008 as a whole, Dyckerhoff expects a slight increase in Group sales and results.