HeidelbergCement improves in North America and northern Europe

HeidelbergCement improves in North America and northern Europe
Published: 10 August 2005

First half turnover rose by 7.9%, or by 7.0% on a comparative basis, to EUR 3,497.6m while the EBITDA advanced by 10.2% to EUR 534.3m. Cement and clinker shipments, which were down by 2.2% in the first quarter, advanced by 2.7% to 31.54Mt, as lower deliveries in Germany and western Europe were more than offset by higher volumes elsewhere.  With only modest increases in depreciation and interest payments and a higher contribution from associates, notably a 40% rise from Vicat, the running profit before tax rose by 35.7% to EUR 233.4m.  At the end of the initial acceptance period, the Merckle family controlled 66.8% of the HeidelbergCement equity.
 
The German-dominated Central Europe division saw underlying cement shipments drop by 8.3% and after the initial consolidation of Teutonia, there was still a 3.3% decline to 3.31Mt.  Deliveries of ready-mixed concrete fell by 11.7% to 3.37Mm³ and of aggregates by 4.9% to 10.07Mt.  In spite of higher prices, turnover across the area eased by 0.5% to EUR 385m, while the EBITDA improved by 3.3% to EUR 34m. 
 
Western European turnover declined by 4.2% to €449Mt, with poor continued pricing in the Benelux and reduced cement volumes in Great Britain being behind the decline though the EBITDA edged ahead by 1.4% to EUR 71m.  Cement shipments fell by 3.8% to 4.17Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries in the Benelux increased by a similar percentage, to 1.44Mm³, entirely thanks to the widening rates of sphere of consolidation, while aggregates volumes were off by 1.4% to 7.34Mt.