Vicat sees growth in Asia and in the USA

 Vicat sees growth in Asia and in the USA
Published: 06 November 2013

Tagged Under: France Asia Vicat 

Vicat's turnover for the first nine months of the year improved by a modest 0.6 per cent to EUR1740m, which represents an underlying advance of 3.2 per cent. The gearing level increased to 51.3 per cent at the end of September compared with 47.6 per cent a year ago. The expansion in Asia has been the main reason for the increased debt levels in recent years, but it is below the 53.3 per cent seen at the end of June.

Turnover in cement was 2.8 per cent ahead at EUR855m, which represented 51.2 per cent of the group total. Cement deliveries improved by 1.4 per cent to 13.68Mt. The aggregates and concrete turnover rose by 7.4 per cent to EUR655m, or 33.5 per cent of the group total, with shipments of aggregates improving by 7.3 per cent to 17.18 tonnes and deliveries of ready-mixed concrete rising by 10.3 per cent to 6.41m m³. The turnover from other activities was 4.4 per cent lower at EUR230m or 15.3 per cent of the group total.

The French consolidated turnover declined by 1.9 per cent to EUR651m in the nine months, following an 8.0 per cent reduction in the comparative period last year. Cement turnover came off by 7.4 per cent depressed by another hard winter and a still weak market led further volume reduction of just over 6 per cent. The average selling price, however, did show some further improvement. Aggregates and concrete turnover staged a 2.8 per cent recovery to EUR328m, with selling prices slightly lower in concrete but ahead in aggregates. Volumes increased by almost 6.5 per cent in aggregates and by over 2.8 per cent in ready-mixed concrete. Other products and services saw turnover decline by a further 7.7 per cent to EUR178m following a 3.3 per cent reduction a year earlier.

Turnover in the rest of Europe, improved by 3.6 per cent to EUR318m, with the underlying improvement being 5.8 per cent. The Swiss operations improved turnover by 3.4 per cent to 303m, though the average price received was a little lower. Cement deliveries did benefit from investments in the infrastructure. Concrete and aggregates turnover grew by 9.8 per cent to EUR126m, with prices easing in aggregates but being stable in ready-mixed concrete. In pre-cast concrete, turnover improved by 3.4 per cent to EUR98m. Italian turnover fell by 18.0 per cent as cement shipments fell by 25 per cent in spite of developing some export business.

In the United States, turnover rose by 10.4 per cent to EUR166m, with the underlying improvement being 13.7 per cent, the difference largely reflecting exchange rate movements. The cement volume improved by a further 2.4 per cent, with good growth being seen in California, but Alabama volumes being slightly lower because of unfavourable weather conditions. Selling prices improved, but more so in the South-East than in California. The ready-mixed concrete turnover improved by a further 17.5 per cent as volumes increased by 12.5 per cent. The South-Eastern states saw more of a sales improvement than did California. In the third quarter, turnover registered an increase of 26.8 per cent.  

Turnover in Asia increased by 8.8 per cent to EUR361m. The Turkish turnover rose by 19.5 per cent to EUR183m, and the turnover in cement increased by 17.2 per cent thanks to rising volumes and higher selling prices. The turnover in concrete and aggregates expanded by 23.1 per cent, with volumes increasing in both aggregates and ready-mixed concrete boosted in particular by housebuilding activity in the Ankara area. The Indian turnover rose by 12.5 per cent to the equivalent of EUR119m and volumes rose by almost 25 per cent to 2.3Mt, helped by the start-up of Vicat Sagar, but the competitive situation remained tight throughout the period and selling prices declined. In Kazakhstan, turnover increased by 21.2 per cent to EUR59m as volumes prices rose by more than 9 per cent and pricing improved and the cement works matured. However, in the third quarter activity declined by 4.9 per cent, in part reflecting maintenance and low stocks, though pricing remained positive.  

In Africa and Egypt, the turnover came off by 12.1 per cent to EUR245m, which translates into an underlying reduction of 8.4 per cent. The Egyptian turnover declined by 18.3 per cent as volumes suffered lost production because of continuing security problems in Sinai. The loss of volume was partially compensated for by higher prices. Turnover in western African declined by 3.9 per cent, but cement volumes only off by 0.5 per cent. Pricing was broadly stable and the reduction on turnover primarily reflected the business mix. The third quarter results showed a slight improvement, with turnover off by 3.4 per cent.