Buzzi Unicem's turnover edges ahead and profit advances

Buzzi Unicem's turnover edges ahead and profit advances
Published: 09 November 2012


Buzzi Unicem's turnover for the first nine months was up by 1.7 per cent to €2,146.3m and the EBITDA increased by 11.7 per cent to €368.7m. The trading profit rose by 29.6 per cent to €198.9m and net financial charges increased by 25.1 per cent to €85.3m. After an 89.3 per cent higher contribution from associates, the pre-tax profit rose by 33.5 per cent to €116.8m. With charges for tax and for minorities increasing more slowly than the pre-tax profit, the net attributable profit jumped by 49.6 per cent to €57.7m.

Net debt at the end of September was 4.2 per cent lower at €1094.9m giving a gearing level of 40.6 per cent compared with 43.2 per cent a year earlier. Capital investment in the period was eight per cent lower at €106.5m. Cement deliveries were three per cent lower at 20.8Mt, with lower volumes being seen in Italy and in Eastern and Central Europe. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 9.1 per cent to 10.3Mm³.

The Italian turnover fell by 15.3 per cent to €363.8m, while the EBITDA dropped by 67.8 per cent to €2.7m, but in the absence of any meaningful contribution from the sale of emission rights, that had contributed €13.5m last year and €29.5m the year before, one could speak of an underlying improvement, even if the margin was only 0.7 per cent. Shipments of cement and clinker in the period declined by 21.2 per cent, but cement prices were 16.1 per cent higher than a year earlier. While kiln fuel prices showed a 10.8 per cent decline, electricity costs rose by 10.2 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries dropped by 23.6 per cent, but prices did increase by five per cent compared with a year earlier.

German turnover declined by 5.4 per cent to €460.2m and the EBITDA was off by 23.4 per cent to €60m, with the contribution from the sale of emission rights being down from €3.9m to €1.8m. Cement volumes declined by 8.5 per cent to 3.80Mt, but the average price improved by 1.5 per cent. In ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 0.9 per cent to 3.0m m³, and prices by 1.6 per cent. The still small aggregates side increased sales volume by 84.1 per cent to 0.80Mt. Turnover in Luxembourg declined 8.1 per cent to €79.3m and the EBITDA dropped by 59.5 per cent to €10.7m as cement shipments fell nine per cent to 0.92Mt. The Dutch turnover was 16.9 per cent lower at €69.3m but a €4.3m EBITDA loss was incurred as aggregates shipments declined by 16.8 per cent to 2.08Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were off by 15.3 per cent to 0.61Mm³.

The Eastern European turnover improved by 6.9 per cent to €487.5m and the EBITDA advanced by 20.2 per cent to €135.2m. The Polish turnover came off by 23.2 per cent to €86m and the EBITDA was down by 31.1 per cent to some €22m. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia cement deliveries declined by 14.3 per cent, ready-mixed concrete shipments were off by 6.5 per cent and the aggregates tonnage fell by 21.7 per cent. Ukrainian cement sales were off by one per cent to 1.42Mt but ready-mixed concrete volumes rose by 12.8 per cent, with turnover increasing by 29.3 per cent to €106m and the EBITDA advancing from €8m to €18m. In Russia, Suchoi Log's cement shipments increased by 18 per cent to 2.24Mt and prices were 14.2 per cent higher and the turnover rose by 37.8 per cent to €186m and the EBITDA jumped by 64.0 per cent to €82m.

In the United States, turnover was helped by exchange rate movements and rose by 22.7 per cent to €510.3m and the EBITDA jumped by 116.5 per cent to €88.1m. Cement shipments increased by 10.0 per cent and the average selling price showed a 3.3 per cent recovery in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were little changed but prices did improve by 5.7 per cent. The higher cement volumes sold in part reflect shale gas exploration in the south-west of the country. Higher fuel prices were partially offset by lower electricity costs.

The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma increased cement shipments in the nine months by 8.9 per cent, with the average selling price in local currency increasing by 5.9 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by 11.9 per cent and the average price improved by 2.4 per cent. In spite of a 1.5 per cent drop in value of the Mexican peso against the euro, the turnover increased by 13.8 per cent to €201.3m and the EBITDA advanced by 23.3 per cent to 76.3m, helped additionally by a 14.7 per cent decline in kiln fuel costs. .