Buzzi Unicem: growth in Eastern Europe and Mexico offset weaker USA and Italy

Buzzi Unicem: growth in Eastern Europe and Mexico offset weaker USA and Italy
Published: 11 February 2008

Buzzi Unicem improved turnover by 9.1% to EUR3,205m in 2007.  Based on a constant structure and exchange rates, the underlying increase was 8.8%.  Net debt at the end of the year stood 2.0% higher at EUR621m.  Group cement deliveries were 2.2% higher at 34.1Mt, with improved volumes being registered in most markets with the exception of the United States and Italy.  Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 2.0% to 17Mm³.   The full results will be announced on the 27th of March.

Italian turnover declined by 4.2% to EUR961m.  Including exports, cement shipments declined by 1.2% to 8.46Mt, but the average selling price achieved did improve.  The reduction in cement demand was most noticeable in housebuilding and civil engineering activity also fell back.  This was more notably reflected in a 10.9% reduction in ready-mixed concrete deliveries to 6.82Mm³.  

In Germany, turnover rose by 7.3% to EUR515m, helped by higher prices.  Lower housebuilding activity was largely offset by good levels of activity in commercial and industrial building and in civil engineering.  Average cement prices improved by 7.7% and, thanks to higher exports, volumes grew by 4.1% to 5.35m tonnes. 

The United States business saw turnover decline by 8.0% to EUR851m, though in dollar terms it was broadly unchanged.  Cement shipments were 4.1% lower at 9.4Mt, while prices were an average 5.2% higher.  Helped by some acquisitions, the reduction in ready-mixed concrete deliveries was just 0.4% and prices were improved by 5.2% in response to higher cement and delivery costs.        

The 50%-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma increased cement shipments by 18.0% to 4.9Mt.  Average prices were 2.0% lower, in part reflecting a shift from bagged to bulk shipments.  Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 12.3% to 1.6Mm³, with prices broadly unchanged over the year.  The turnover advanced by 7.6% to EUR212m, after a negative currency effect of approximately EUR20m.