HeidelbergCement AG said its second quarter pretax profit fell to 204 mln eur from 207 mln on foreign exchange losses, while sales rose.
The world’s fourth largest cement maker by output saw second quarter net profit rise to EUR159m from EUR139m on strong sales in Asia and Turkey. Overall, sales reached EUR1.895bn from EUR1.793bn.
The company’s Indocement Indonesian unit, which records earnings in US dollars and Japanese yen, posted foreign exchange losses of EUR40m.
HeidelbergCement confirmed its earlier full-year guidance. “Our expectations for a significant improvement in turnover and results for the whole of 2004 have been confirmed by the progress in the second quarter,” chief executive Hans Bauer said.
The company provided a regional breakdown of its results for the first half of the year.
First half North American cement and clinker sales volume rose to 6.34Mt, up 9.5 pct from last year. Turnover decreased to 777 mln eur from 791 mln. In dollar terms, however, turnover rose nine per cent.
Cement and clinker sales in the Central Europe West region fell five per cent to 3.4Mt. Turnover rose 6.4 per cent to EUR387m.
In the company’s Africa, Asia, Turkey region, sales rose to 9.8Mt while turnover rose to EUR464m from EUR230m.
Meanwhile, Romanian cement plants merge
Moldcim SA of Bicaz, Casial SA of Deva, Romcif SA and Carpatcement Romania SRL, all part of HeidelbergCement Holding, have merged in a single company called Carpatcement Holding SA, Carpatcement reports in a press release.
The merger through absorption of the cement plants is said to be a natural stage in the development strategy of the HeidelbergCement Holding in Romania.
The assets of the merging companies were transferred to the newly created CarpatcementHolding SA, which currently has over 12,000 shareholders.
HeidelbergCement Central Europe East Holding BV owns 65.66 per cent of the shares, HeidelbergCement Romania BV 33.21 per cent, while 1.13 per cent of the shares are divided among minority shareholders.