Buzzi Unicem: Russia and America perform well

Buzzi Unicem: Russia and America perform well
Published: 11 February 2013

Tagged Under: Buzzi Unicem Dyckerhoff 

Buzzi Unicem turnover edged ahead by 0.9 per cent last year to €2813m, of which Dyckerhoff contributed an almost unchanged €1603m. The underlying EBITDA, which will be announced on 28 March, is estimated to be around €450m. Net debt at the end of December had been reduced by 1.6 per cent to €1125m. Group cement deliveries declined by 3.4 per cent last year to 27.3Mt, but they were ahead in the Russia, the USA and Mexico. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down 9.5 per cent to 13.6Mm³ in spite of higher volumes in Mexico, the USA and Ukraine.  

The Italian construction market continued to fall and housing transactions reached a 20-year low. Buzzi Unicem's Italian turnover declined by a further 15.7 per cent to €479m though cement prices did show some further recovery and cement prices improved by some 13 per cent. Sales of hydraulic binders were down by 19.9 per cent, but export shipments held up comparatively well. Italian cement consumption fell for the sixth year in a row to reach a level some 46 per cent below the peak registered in 2006 and is now down to around 25Mta. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries dropped by 24.7 per cent, but prices improved by 4.6 per cent on average. 

German turnover declined by 5.1 per cent to €604m, with the underlying reduction being 6.4 per cent. Cement deliveries were down  8.2 per cent as a result of lower export volumes, but the average price rose by 1.6 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 1.5 per cent and the average price eased by 0.7 per cent, but the small aggregates business recorded higher volumes. Luxembourg turnover declined by eight per cent to €104m as cement deliveries dropped by 7.7 per cent on the back of reduced export shipments and the average price came off by 1.6 per cent. Dutch turnover fell by 20.2 per cent to €88m, with ready-mixed concrete volumes falling 16.7 per cent and prices easing by 2.2 per cent.

Polish turnover fell 24.3 per cent to €109m, of which the devaluation of the zloty accounted for a €1.7m exchange loss. Cement deliveries were down by 17.4 per cent and prices dropped by 4.5 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes fell 25.7 per cent and prices weakened by 2.3 per cent. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, turnover was down by 12.8 per cent to €150m, of which €3m represented the devaluation of the Czech crown. Cement volumes declined, as there were no exports to Poland, which had boosted volumes in the previous year. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were 5.7 per cent lower and prices eased by 2.3 per cent.

Ukrainian turnover and profits benefited from a appreciation of the local currency on top notably higher prices, against the €6.1m hit from the devaluation of the hryvna in the previous year. Turnover increased by 19.5 per cent to €134m. Cement deliveries declined by 6.1 per cent, while prices in local currency rose by 18.1 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 3.1 per cent higher and the average price rose 20.8 per cent. In Russia, cement demand remained strong and there was a 15.3 per cent increase in cement shipments and the price increased by 13.1 per cent in local currency. As a result, the turnover advanced by 33.7 per cent to €235m. Net of the exchange rate effect, the turnover would have been up by 30.5 per cent.

In the USA, turnover improved by 22 per cent to €681m, but in dollar terms the advance was a more modest 10.6 per cent. Cement deliveries increased by 10.5 per cent, helped by favourable weather and a recovery in demand. Prices also recovered and were ahead by 2.9 per cent in dollar terms as a recovery in building activity got established. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 2.7 per cent and prices did improve by an encouraging 6.3 per cent.   
 
The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporacion Moctezuma increased turnover by 13.1 per cent to €269m, helped by currency movements, without which the increase would have been 10.6 per cent. Cement shipments increased by 6.2 per cent to 5.9Mt. Pricing remained firm and prices increased by 4.3 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, deliveries advanced by 11.7 per cent and prices increased by 2.6 per cent. 

The full 2012 results are to be published on 28 March 2013.