The separately quoted Buzzi Unicem subsidiary Dyckerhoff had a very good start to the year, with volumes well ahead in all countries with the exception of the USA, where there was a 17.8% drop, and prices rose in all countries with the exception of the Czech Republic. In spite of the North American decline, group cement deliveries were 23.2% higher at some 3.4Mt and the ready-mixed concrete volume was 50% higher at 1.2Mm³. The underlying turnover was 31.0% higher at EUR295m, while the corresponding increase at the EBITDA level was 104.8% to EUR43m. Net debt at the end of March stood at EUR114m, to give a gearing level of just 8.9%.
German cement volumes in the quarter increased by 26.8% and the ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by some 31%. German cement prices were raised by around 8% and ready-mixed concrete prices advanced by some 6%. Turnover increased by an underlying 34.2% to EUR100m, with the EBITDA rising from break-even to EUR6m. In Luxembourg, cement shipments increased by 60.9% and the turnover increased by 66.7% to some EUR20m, leading to a 50% increase in the EBITDA, while prices were augmented by approximately 6%.
The mild winter has given a considerable boots to cement deliveries in Eastern Europe. In Poland, cement deliveries rose by 177.5% and ready-mixed concrete shipments were some 76% ahead, resulting in a 162.5% increase in turnover to €21m and a €6m profit was achieved against a loss lost time. Cement prices moved ahead by some 19%. The Czech and Slovak activities, which generate most of their turnover from ready-mixed concrete, increased cement shipments by 66.9%, at broadly unchanged prices, and ready-mixed concrete volume by 63%, resulting in the turnover rising by 66.7% to €35m and EBITDA by 75.0%.