For the first nine months of 2006, Holcim increased turnover by 30.5% to SFr17,514m (EUR11,155m) with the EBITDA advancing by 28.2% to SFr4,489m (EUR2,859m). Net debt at the end of September stood at SFr12,892m ( EUR8,108m), which is 4.3% lower than a year earlier. Cement shipments rose by 25.1% to 103.8Mt, with ready-mixed concrete deliveries rising by 16.7% to 32.8Mm³ and aggregates shipments increasing by 12.89% to 138.0Mt as the deliveries of downstream products slowed down in the third quarter.
Turnover in Europe increased by 22.4% to SFr6,309m (EUR4,018m) and the EBITDA rose by 16.8% to SFr1,464m (EUR932m). Cement shipments across Europe emerged 2.9% higher at 24.74Mt, with the full period’s contribution from Aggregate Industries boosting downstream operations, where aggregates shipments rose by 18.4% to 69.6Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by 14.6% to 14.9Mm³. Good cement volume growth was being seen in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia, with deliveries also moving usefully ahead in Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.
North American turnover rose by 22.7% to SFr4,110m (EUR2618m), helped by higher cement prices, and the EBITDA improved by 15.1% to SFr776m (EUR494m). Cement deliveries increased by 1.5% to 13.7Mt and cement, clinker and slag all still had to be imported to satisfy demand, in spite of lower consumption levels in the third quarter.
In the Asia Pacific area, turnover rose by 99.4% to SFr3,342m (EUR2,129m) and the EBITDA jumped by 121.6% to SFr933m (EUR594m). Reflecting the Indian acquisitions, cement shipments jumped by 79.9m to 39.4Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 26.9% to 3.3Mm³ but lower volumes in New Zealand left aggregates shipments 4.2% lower at 2.3Mt. At the underlying level, cement deliveries were ahead in India, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh, more or less stable in the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand and lower in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. In Thailand, increased exports largely made up for the domestic shortfall in demand caused by the political situation there.