In the first nine months 2007, the Buzzi Unicem subsidiary Dyckerhoff increased cement shipments by 11.7% in Eastern Europe and by 10.0% in Western Europe. Although its share of the US associate declined by 8.8%, total cement volumes did improve by 6.0% to 13.4Mt. Turnover increased by 26.7% to EUR1,315m and the EBITDA rose by 25.8% to EUR356m, while the net profit jumped by 74.8% to EUR180m. Capital expenditure was ahead by 111% to €131m, but the net debt was a modest EUR41m, compared with shareholders’ funds of EUR1,363m.
German cement shipments, including exports, were 6.8% higher, while domestic prices increased by around 9% in both cement and in ready-mixed concrete. The underlying turnover increased by 11.7% to EUR377m and the EBITDA advanced by 20.3% to EUR71m. From the beginning of 2008, Dyckerhoff is increasing list prices fir cement by EUR9m per tonne. At the end of August, Dyckerhoff concluded an exchange of ready-mixed concrete assets with Schwenk that gave the group two batching plants in Saxony-Anhalt. The initial profit contribution from Dyckerhoff Basal in The Netherlands amounted to around EUR7m on a turnover of €101m, while the Luxembourg operations, now trading as Cimalux, generated a turnover 29.6% higher at EUR70m on volumes that were 29.3% up and contributing an EBITDA of EUR17m.
The underlying Eastern European turnover rose by 44.8% to EUR533m and the EBITDA improved by 50.0% to EUR195m. In Poland, cement deliveries in the year to date are up by 10.8% and prices are some 18% higher, while ready-mixed concrete prices have risen by approximately 23%. As a result, turnover has increased by 38.5% to EUR108m and the EBITDA rose by 53.4% to EUR43m. In the Czech and Slovak operations, cement prices were up by 4% while concrete prices were stable but Dyckerhoff managed to raise cement volumes by 28.0% in a market that grew by a more modest, but still very good, 12%. Underlying turnover was 25.4% ahead to €158m and the EBITDA improved by 20.8% to EUR58m.
In the Ukraine, group cement shipments, which rose in line with the market, were ahead by 16.2%. Higher gas prices provided the prime reason behind the 79.7% increase in the turnover to EUR133m and a further 20% increase in gas prices is envisaged for 2008. The EBITDA rose from EUR13m to EUR46m. Dyckerhoff is investing around €180m in increasing capacity at the Volyn works. When this comes on stream in 2011, the group’s Ukrainian capacity should rise to around 4Mt. Output at the capacity constrained Suchoi Log works in Russia was 1.8% ahead, but the substantial increase in Russian cement prices led to a 48.9% increase in turnover to EUR134m and the EBITDA advanced by 23.8% to EUR52m. A new kiln for the Suchoi Log plant has now been delivered second hand from another Buzzi Unicem works in Italy at a modest cost of €391,000.
The US associate experienced an 8.8% reduction in cement deliveries, and although the turnover was off by 11.0% to EUR234m, the EBITDA actually increased by 1.2% to EUR87m, in spite of the weaker dollar, and the average cement price was around 6% higher.