H+H moves into Poland

H+H moves into Poland
Published: 03 October 2005

H+H International is aiming to consolidate its position as Europe’s second largest producer of aerated concrete by signing a conditional agreement to acquire four aerated concrete plants in Poland.  Three of the four plants, which have a combined current annual production capacity of around 0.8Mm³ and an output last year of 675,000m m³, primarily serve the greater Warsaw market.  The fourth, Prevar, is in the south of the country, near Krakow.  Poland, with an annual consumption of some 4.3m m³, is presently the largest aerated concrete market in Europe and the product accounts for around 43 per cent of residential walling materials.  The proposed deal would make H+H the third largest aerated concrete producer in Poland with a market share of around 15%, behind the locally owed Solbet with 25 per cent and Franz Haniel’s Xella with 20%, but ahead of CRH with some 10 per cent.
 
Taking full ownership of the Faelbet, Lidzbark, Pulawy and Prevar plants, which together employ 515 people, will cost H+H almost €25m, including debt, and the Danish-based group aims to spend a further €16m over five years to improve quality and raise capacity to 0.9Mm³.  The four plants are currently loss making, and with shipments expected to decline by over 10 per cent this year because of lower construction activity, a greater loss than last year’s €0.13m is being forecast.  H+H expects the Polish business to be profitable from 2008 onwards.