The separately quoted Buzzi Unicem subsidiary Dyckerhoff, in which the Italian group has just raised its control to over 96%, increased turnover by an underlying 15.0% in 2006 to €1,423m, with cement shipments rising by 3.7% to just over 17m tonnes. Capital expenditure amounted to €97m in 2006, but will rise in 2007 and 2008 on the back of the investments being under taken in the United States and in Russia. The reorganisation of the Dutch investments will see a new subsidiary in the form of Dyckerhoff Nederland, which should generate an annual turnover of some €100m.
German cement volumes were off by 1.6%, but the underlying turnover increased by 5.8% to €478m. German cement prices were raised by 10.5% in January, but it is not expected that all of this increase will stick. Luxembourg cement shipments improved by 6.4% last year, with the underlying turnover being ahead by 7.2% to €79m.
Helped by favourable weather and economic growth, operations in eastern Europe performed strongly in 2006. In Poland, cement deliveries rose by 26.7% and prices recovered, giving a turnover 40.5% ahead at €111m. The Czech and Slovak businesses increased cement shipments by 15.2% and the underlying turnover advanced by 21.6% to €182m. Both volumes and prices rose in the Ukraine, with turnover up by 48.6% to €107m as cement deliveries increased by 13.2%. Capacity constraints limited the volume increase in Russia to 0.7%, but very strong pricing saw the turnover rise by 36.3% to €124m.
The US associate sold 1.2% less cement in 2006m, but prices continued to rise and the share of turnover was 9.6% higher at 342m, in spite of the weaker US currency. The continued weakness in the US housing markets is likely to result in reduced cement imports in 2007.