Buzzi Unicem performance deteriorates in Italy and Mexico

Buzzi Unicem performance deteriorates in Italy and Mexico
Published: 11 November 2013

Tagged Under: Results Italy Buzzi Unicem 

Buzzi Unicem's turnover for the first nine months declined up by 3.2 per cent to EUR2078.5m and the EBITDA came off by 10.6 per cent to EUR335.8m.

The trading profit was down by 16.4 per cent to EUR169.8m, but net financial charges came off by 9.5 per cent to EUR81.4m. After a 37.9 per cent increase in the contribution from associates, the pre-tax profit emerged 18.3 per cent lower at EUR95.0m. The tax charge still rose by 73.8 per cent, though the minorities charge did decrease by 32.9 per cent, leading to a net attributable profit 62.1 per cent lower at EUR21.8m.

Net debt at the end of September was 1.2 per cent higher at EUR1107.5m giving a gearing level of 46.8 per cent compared with 40.6 per cent a year earlier. Capital investment in the period was 9.8 per cent higher at EUR116.95m, in addition to which EUR66.8m was spent on acquisitions, mainly on buying out the remaining Dyckerhoff minority.  Cement deliveries were 1.2 per cent lower at 20.6m tonnes and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 6.8 per cent to 9.6m m³.

The Italian turnover came down by 10.4 per cent to EUR326.1m, while the EBITDA went from a EUR3.4m profit to a loss of EUR13.1m, as kiln fuel costs declined by 12.0 per cent but power costs rose by 7.4 per cent. The sale of emission rights raised EUR4.5m against nothing last year, but there was a EUR13.1m charge from writing off trade receivables, EUR10.7m of which related to the ready-mixed concrete operations. Shipments of cement and clinker declined by 4.1 per cent and prices were 1.1 per cent lower, though export volumes were ahead and there were clinker sales to competitors that had closed kilns. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries dropped by a further 22.5 per cent, but prices improved by 2.2 per cent.

Turnover in Germany declined by 2.5 per cent to EUR448.6m but the EBITDA edged ahead by EUR0.1m to EUR60.1m, though at the underlying level there was a 13.2 per cent, or EUR7.9m, reduction. Restructuring led to a EUR9.7m rise in staff costs and there was a EUR1.9m charge for internally purchased of emission rights. Cement deliveries declined by 3.2 per cent to 3.68m tonnes while the average price improved by 1.6 per cent. Underlying ready-mixed concrete deliveries increased by 1 per cent, though some batching plants have been transferred to the Luxembourg subsidiary, and prices improved. Turnover in Luxembourg improved by 2.8 per cent to EUR81.5m and the EBITDA rose by 34.1 per cent to EUR14.3m though cement and clinker shipments declined by 4.4 per cent and the average price eased by 1.2 per cent. The Dutch turnover fell by 23.4 per cent to EUR53.1m and the EBITDA loss widened from EUR4.3m to EUR5.6m but included a EUR0.7m restructuring charge. Dutch ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 17.5 per cent to 0.5m m³ and prices weakened. 
 
Polish turnover declined by 8.2 per cent to EUR79.3m but the EBITDA improved by some 9 per cent EUR21,1m, as cement shipments improved by 2.8 per cent but prices fell, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries dropped by 20.4 per cent. Czech cement volume fell by 18.6 per cent and prices eased by 0.9 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete prices were stable in the Czech Republic but weakened in Slovakia with the combined volume being off by 8.4 per cent. Turnover was hit additionally by the devaluation of the Czech currency and declined by 14.8 per cent to EUR95.9m and the EBITDA dropped by 42.1 per cent to EUR11.9m.

Ukrainian cement shipments declined by 12.0 per cent to 1.25m tonnes, but prices increased by 3.7 per cent in local currency. A weaker currency further depressed turnover, which was down by 11.2 per cent to EUR94.5m and the EBITDA fell by 33.5 per cent to EUR10.5m.  In Russia, Suchoi Log's cement shipments increased by 3.9 per cent to 2.33m tonnes, in spite of a fire closing the dry-process kiln for three months in the summer, and prices improved by 6.7 per cent. Turnover increased by 4.3 per cent to EUR194.0m but the EBITDA declined by 10.8 per cent to EUR79.4m, not helped by the weaker Russian currency.

In the United States, turnover increased by 8.3 per cent to EUR552.6m and the EBITDA improved by 12.8 per cent to EUR103.4m. Cement deliveries rose by 9.0 per cent, helped by an improvement in the Mid-West and continued strength in Texas, with the average selling price improving by 2.9 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes grew by 7.8 per cent and prices were 6.4 per cent higher. Higher electricity costs were partially offset by lower kiln fuel costs.

The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma saw cement shipments in the nine months decline by 11.4 per cent, with prices being down by 5.6 per cent as a result of weaker demand and increased competitive pressures. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries eased by 1.5 per cent but the average price improved by 1.7 per cent. Helped by a recovery in the value of the Mexican peso against the euro, the turnover reduction was limited to 12.0 per cent to EUR177.1m, while the EBITDA came off by 18.4 per cent to EUR62.3m.