HeidelbergCement ahead in 2011, but margins narrow

HeidelbergCement ahead in 2011, but margins narrow
Published: 09 February 2012

Tagged Under: HeidelbergCement Germany 

The preliminary figures from HeidelbergCement show a 9.7 per cent advance in turnover last year to €12,902m, but the EBITDA was improving at a more modest 3.6 per cent to €2,321m. The trading profit was up by 3.0 per cent to €1,474m, or by 3.2 per cent adjusting for currency movements and changes in the scope of consolidation. Margins declined as the rise in energy costs could not be passed on in their entirety and the contribution from the sale of emission rights dropped from an adjusted €130m (it was originally €147m) to less than €10m. The number of employees decreased by 1.7 per cent to 52,526, as a reduction of more than 1,200 in North America and Europe was partially offset by the recruitment of some 400 in growing markets such as India and Indonesia.

Volumes benefited from a late start of the winter in the northern hemisphere. Group sales of cementitous materials increased by 12.0 per cent to 87.2Mt, while the aggregates volume advanced by 6.0 per cent to 254.1Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 11.9 per cent to 39.1m m³ and sales of asphalt improved by 4.9 per cent to 9.5Mt.

The northern & western European business was helped by relatively mild weather, both at the beginning and at the end of 2011 and turnover rose by 13.5 per cent to €4,318m. The EBITDA rose by 7.4 per cent to €734m and the trading profit improved by 4.9 per cent to €427m. Shipments of cementitous materials increased by 12.4 per cent to 22.1Mt and the aggregates volume rose by 14.9 per cent to 79.1Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by 17.8 per cent to 13.8m m³ and sales of asphalt increased by 7.6 per cent to 3.6Mt. Income from the sale of emission rights was well down and excluding this and pension provisions the EBITDA advanced by 28.3 per cent. Germany, Sweden and Norway were particularly strong, thanks to economic growth and rising housing markets in these countries.

In eastern Europe & central Asia the turnover rose by 22.3 per cent to €1,392m, the EBITDA by 9.3 per cent to €327m and the trading profit by 7.4 per cent to €217m. Excluding the effect from the sale of emission rights, the underlying EBITDA advanced by 23.7 per cent. The cementitous volume rose, in line with turnover, by 22.3 per cent to 17.4Mt but aggregates shipments advanced by a more modest 7.8 per cent to 21.7Mt while ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 18.9 per cent to 4.6m m³.  The increase in demand was particularly strong in Poland, the Ukraine and in Central Asia.

The North American turnover was a marginal 0.1 per cent ahead at €3,035m and was held back by exchange rate movements. The EBITDA improved by 5.7 per cent to €473m and the trading profit rose by 22.6 per cent to €230m, helped by a pensions effect, without which the increase would have been a more modest 3.3 per cent. Shipments of cementitous materials recovered by 6.4 per cent to 10.6Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 5.2 per cent to 5.7m m³. The increase in the aggregates volume was a modest 0.7 per cent to 105.8Mt, while sales of asphalt declined by 5.8 per cent to 3.5Mt. Overall, stronger demand in Western Canada and in Texas was largely offset by weaker markets elsewhere.

Asia-Pacific turnover rose by 13.4 per cent to €2,957m, but higher energy costs and a quarry accident in China led to a 1.0 per cent reduction in EBITDA to 711m. The trading profit declined by 3.1 per cent to €568m. Cement and clinker volumes did improve by 8.4 per cent to 28.8Mt. Downstream volumes, where Australia carries a substantial weight, shipments of aggregates rose by 11.4 per cent to 37.1Mt, ready-mixed concrete deliveries by 12.8 per cent to 9.9m m³ and asphalt sales by 16.4 per cent to 1.9Mt.

In Africa and the Mediterranean region, turnover increased by 9.0 per cent to €1,023m and the EBITDA advanced by 5.3 per cent to €164m while the trading profit rose by 6.4 per cent to €128m. Shipments of cementitious materials advanced by 10.9 per cent to 9.1Mt with growth in Africa being particularly strong. The decline in the Spanish construction market continued to depress downstream volumes with the result that aggregates deliveries declined by 0.6 per cent to 14.2Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were up by just 1.4 per cent at 5.1Mm³. The asphalt business in Israel saw volumes jump by 35.4 per cent to 0.5Mt.

The full results for 2010 will be published on the 15th of March.