HeidelbergCement boosts 2003 cement volumes by 11.3%
Turnover at HeidelbergCement fell by 3.0% last year to €6,372m, but after adjusting for the lower dollar and changes to the sphere of consolidation there was a marginal increase of 0.4%. Profit numbers will not be announced until the 25th of March. Cement deliveries by the group rose by 11.3% to 51.07m tonnes, helped by the first time consolidation of a number of acquisitions. These accounted for 4,094 new employees to give an average for the year of 37,774, an increase of 2.8%. Helped by the consolidation of Indocement from the beginning of this year, HeidelbergCement’s cement volume is set to exceed 60Mt this year, given the positive outlook for most developing markets, both in Europe and overseas.
Cement deliveries in Germany rose by 43.7% to 7.56m tonnes, which represents an underlying increase of some 4%. The kiln at the Bosenberg cement works in Westphalia, acquired with the beginning of this year, is being shut down and will operate as a grinding station only in the future. Given the deterioration in cement prices, the sales value relating to the 43.7% volume increase was just 3.9% to €349m.
Turnover in the Benelux countries and Britain, HeidelbergCement’s western European division, declined by 6.3%to €959m on cement deliveries that were 4.5% lower at 8.75m tonnes and an average cement price that was off by some 5%. That price decline reflected the weaker pound sterling and price pressures in Belgium and The Netherlands coming from independent imports from Germany.
In the northern European division, reported a 13.1% decline in turnover to €758m, principally reflecting the sale of the Finnish concrete products operations. The eastern European division produced an 11.1% increase in cement volume to 9.72m tonnes, helped by the initial consolidation of Romcif in Romania and Ekocem in Poland but also by improving construction activity, particularly during the second half of the year.