Vicat advances in Asia and Americas

Vicat advances in Asia and Americas
Published: 26 April 2013


Vicat's first quarter turnover was ahead by 1.2 per cent to EUR491m, which represents an underlying improvement of 2.7 per cent.

Cement turnover was up by 1.8 per cent to EUR304m, with cement shipments advancing by eight per cent to 4.1Mt.  Turnover in concrete and aggregates rose by 6.7 per cent to EUR181m as aggregates shipments rose by 10.1 per cent to 4.73Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries jumped by 21.7 per cent to 1.8Mm³. Other products and services registered a 0.4 per cent increase in turnover to EUR82m, though at the consolidated level there was an 11.6 per cent reduction.

The net debt ratio increased from 46 per cent to 52 per cent of shareholders' funds. Lower volumes in France and in Egypt were more than offset by improved volumes in the USA, Turkey, India and Kazakhstan. Pricing was generally firm, with exception of India and West Africa.

French turnover declined by 7.2 per cent to EUR183m, reflecting another harsh winter and two working days less, as well as a soft construction market. The turnover in cement declined by 14.2 per cent, or by 8.7 per cent before inter-group elimination, as cement deliveries fell by a further 12 per cent, having come down by 15.7 per cent in the same period in the previous year. In spite of this, the average price continued to improve. Concrete and aggregates produced a turnover that improved by 14 per cent, with aggregates volumes declining by around four per cent, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by almost five per cent. Average prices improved in aggregates, but weakened somewhat in ready-mixed concrete. Other products and services saw turnover decline by 16.6 per cent as transport and construction activities faced difficult climatic conditions.

Elsewhere in Europe, turnover eased by 1.1 per cent to EUR73m, which represents a 0.4 per cent increase on a comparable basis.  Swiss turnover progressed by an underlying 1.6 per cent, as cement volumes advanced by almost 14 per cent. However, the mix was less favourable and the underlying turnover was a more modest 7.2 per cent ahead. Turnover declined by 2.9 per cent in aggregates and by 4.5 per cent in ready-mixed concrete, with volumes being up 6.5 per cent in aggregates and by over nine per cent in ready-mixed concrete. The pre-cast concrete sales suffered from unfavourable weather and volumes declined by 2.4 per cent and the turnover by 0.4 per cent. In Italy, turnover declined by 12.5 per cent as volumes fell by 19.5 per cent, while prices showed some further recovery.

In the United States, the underlying turnover improved by a further 13.9 per cent to EUR46m. The cement turnover was ahead by 13.7 per cent as volumes advanced by 12.7 per cent. Volumes were particularly strong in California, where they rose by 22 per cent, with price increases being scheduled for April. In the south-east, cement volumes advanced by a more modest 2 per cent and pricing was positive. In ready-mixed concrete, turnover rose by 14.0 per cent on volumes that improved by 9.3 per cent and prices improved both in California and in the south-eastern states.

Turnover in Turkey, India and Kazakhstan advanced by an actual 32.4 per cent, and by an underlying 38 per cent, to EUR101m. The Turkish turnover jumped by some 84 per cent, helped by much improved climatic conditions. The cement turnover shot up by 86 per cent as cement shipments advanced by almost 74 per cent, compared with a more than 29 per cent drop a year earlier. The turnover in aggregates and concrete jumped by almost 81 per cent and volumes increased. The Indian turnover improved by an underlying 10.6 per cent to EUR44m, with cement deliveries increasing by more than 20 per cent in the quarter to 0.69Mt. Prices, however, remained volatile. In Kazakhstan, turnover rose by 43.2 per cent to EUR12.4m as cement production rose by 23.2 per cent and the pricing scenario was positive.

Africa and the Middle East again contributed a lower turnover, down by 9.6 per cent to EUR87m, which represents an underlying decline of 6.7 per cent. Egyptian turnover came off by a further 10.6 per cent to EUR22.8m as volumes fell by in excess of 22 per cent. Cement prices have been rising since the beginning of the year and gas supplies have been continuos now for more than six months, following the previous disruptions. In West Africa, the turnover declined by 5.1 per cent, but domestic cement deliveries were ahead. Export volumes to Mali also improved, but overall exports fell. Cement prices in Sénégal, however, declined because of competitive pressures.