H+H hit by weaker British volumes

H+H hit by weaker British volumes
Published: 30 August 2005

H+H International, Europe’s second largest producer of aerated concrete, was its first half EBITDA drop by 24.3 per cent to DKr116.8m (€15.7m) on a turnover 5.6 per cent lower at DKr645.9m (€86.8m), as the British operations suffered from lower demand from the housebuilding industry in addition to the planned closure of the Borough Green plant for up-grading during the first two months of the year. Although prices in Britain were slightly ahead, this was not sufficient to cover the increase in raw material and energy costs and EBITDA margins dropped from 24.10 per cent to 15.91 per cent.  The German & Danish margin decline was more modest, from 29.77 per cent to 28.50 per cent as higher sales into the Danish market partially compensated for the decline in Germany.  Nordic margins increased from 6.24 per cent to 7.53 per cent as volumes in Sweden moved ahead on the back of its competitor having gone into receivership. For the full year, H+H is reducing its pre-tax profit guidance by some 15 per cent, entirely because of all lower demand from British housebuilders.