Lafarge advances in markets outside Europe and the Near East

Lafarge advances in markets outside Europe and the Near East
Published: 07 November 2013

Tagged Under: 9M13 Lafarge 

In the first nine months of the year, Lafarge's turnover declined by 4.4 per cent to EUR11,484m, while the EBITDA fell by 10.5 to EUR2309m. At the trading level the reduction was 15.2 per cent to EUR1546m, while net financial charges eased by 1.7 per cent to EUR792m and other expenses fell to less than a third of the previous year's charge, leading to a pretax profit 6.3 per cent lower at EUR656m. 

A lower tax charge and an increased income from discontinued activities led to a net attributable profit 37.6 per cent higher at EUR388m. Net debt at the end of September was 10.3 per cent lower at EUR10,944m, giving a gearing level of 74.8 per cent. Capital investment, which had fallen by 45.1 per cent at this time last year, increased by 55.7 per cent to EUR763m as development expenditure jumped by 76.6 per cent and maintenance capital expenditure was increased by 20.3 per cent. For the full year, capital expenditure is forecast to amount to some EUR900m.

Group cement deliveries declined by 4.2 per cent to 101.9Mt, while the turnover from cement was off by 7.2 per cent to EUR7834m and the EBITDA fell by 11.4 per cent to EUR1988m. Turnover in aggregates and associated products increased by 7.5 per cent to EUR2256m, with the EBITDA being unchanged at EUR235m. Aggregates deliveries were 1.7 per cent higher at 143.6Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries eased by 3.3 per cent to 23.2Mm³, resulting in a turnover, including concrete products, four per cent lower at  EUR2153m and an EBITDA down by 11.9 per cent to EUR89m. 

European cement deliveries declined by a further 10.9 per cent to 20.4Mt, with turnover being down by 12.8 per cent to EUR1793m but the EBITDA fell by 35.9 per cent to EUR330m. There were no gains from the sale of emission permits compared with a EUR69m benefit a year ago. Volumes were down by 5.8 per cent in central and eastern Europe, while in the west the reduction was 15.2 per cent. In France, cement deliveries were 2.6 per cent lower while prices were one per cent higher while in the UK volumes rose by 8.3 per cent though prices eased. Spanish volumes were off by 3.4 per cent, and in Greece, domestic deliveries fell by a further 12.3 per cent, after four years in succession with the volume drop had been in excess of 20 per cent, but some stability was seen in the third quarter. Polish volumes declined by a further 8.5 per cent, while Romanian volumes dropped by 15.5 per cent. In Russia, Lafarge's cement deliveries declined by 7.1 per cent.

The western European aggregates operations saw turnover improve by 15.8 per cent to EUR690m thanks to the Tarmac joint venture, without which there would have been a marginal decline, and the underlying the EBITDA was off by some 15 per cent. Underlying aggregates shipments across Europe declined, but thanks to the Tarmac effect there was a 7.8 per cent improvement to 59.6Mt as consolidated British volumes rose 11.9 per cent, but reductions of 10.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent were seen in Poland and France respectively. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were some eight per cent lower at 8Mm³, with France registering a 4.2.6 per cent reduction but the Tarmac effect led to a 41.2 per cent jump in Great Britain.

The Middle Eastern and African turnover declined by 7.2 per cent to EUR3032m and the EBITDA came down by 9.6 per cent to EUR856m. Cement deliveries declined by 4.7 per cent to 32.6Mt while the cement turnover was 7.6 per cent lower at EUR2636m giving an EBITDA 10.4 per cent lower at EUR822m. The strongest growth was again seen in Nigeria, with a volume increase of 11 per cent. Iraq was the only other sizeable market to show reasonable growth, with a 6.6 per cent increase, in spite of import pressure from Iran. South Africa improved cement shipments by 1.9 per cent and there was an 18 per cent increase in ready mixed concrete deliveries there. Algerian deliveries were a marginal 0.1 per cent ahead, but an improved product mix boosted turnover by 8.8 per cent. The main negative influence came from Egypt, where a shortage gas supplies led to a 27 per cent volume drop and Lafarge is now in the process of widening the fuel mix. In Morocco the increase in competitive capacity led to a 7.9 per cent volume reduction, but prices were firm. Kenya, after a strong performance last year, saw volumes ease by 5.9 per cent.