The separately quoted Buzzi Unicem subsidiary has reported a 6.1 per cent increase in first half turnover to €624m, but thanks to sharply improved profitability in Eastern Europe and in the United States, the EBITDA grew by 26.1 per cent to €150m and the trading profit (EBIT) by 54.0 per cent to €97m. Lower cement deliveries in Germany and Luxembourg were compensated for by higher volumes in Poland, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine, while shipments in the USA and in Russia were stable. Overall, Dyckerhoff sold 7.5Mt of cement and 2.6m m m³ of ready-mixed concrete in the six months.
First half turnover declined by 4.4 per cent in Germany to €215m, but the EBITDA rose by 22.2 per cent to €33m, with cement deliveries in the period affected by the weather and off by 11.5 per cent compared with a strong first half last year. Ready-mixed concrete shipments were slightly ahead, but prices were unsatisfactory and to not look like improving. In Luxembourg, cement shipments were off by 4.8 per cent and the sale of a concrete business helped reduce group turnover by 49.3 per cent to €34m and the EBITDA by 30.8 per cent to €9m. The Dutch associates were hit by the effects of the dismantling of the joint trading operations and provisions were taken and the assets may now be split up among the partners.
Polish cement volumes grew by 29.6 per cent, with capacity utilisation moving up to about 80 per cent. In spite of some weakness in prices, turnover rose by a quarter to €40m and the EBITDA shot up by 62.5 per cent to €13m. The group’s ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by around 19 per cent. In the Czech Republic, shipments of cement and concrete rose by 20.9 per cent and around 11 per cent respectively, with turnover rising by 20.0 per cent to €72m and EBITDA by 55.6 per cent to €28m. In the Ukraine, cement deliveries rose by 10.3 per cent and concrete shipments by some 24 per cent. Turnover advanced by 51.9 per cent to €41m, but the inability to fully pass on the increase in gas prices led to profits being static at €5m. Turnover in Russia rose by 42.9 per cent to €50m and the EBITDA advanced by 58.3 per cent to €19m. Cement production, which is at capacity, was off by 0.9 per cent but some €100m is being invested in increasing capacity by at least 1.0Mt by the end of 2008.
The USA is also close to capacity, with volumes being up by just 0.4 per cent, but strong American cement prices led to a 21.1 per cent increase in turnover to €172m, but with higher energy costs the increase in the EBITDA was limited to 9.1 per cent to give a total of €48m.