Vicat advances in Switzerland, Asia and the USA

Vicat advances in Switzerland, Asia and the USA
Published: 04 February 2014

Vicat's turnover eased by 0.3 per cent in 2013 to EUR2286m, which translates into an underlying increase of 2.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis. Turnover in cement declined by four per cent  to EUR1110m, or EUR1333m before deducting inter-group transfers. Aggregates and concrete sales rose by 6.1 per cent  to EUR876m, while other activities saw turnover coming off by 3.4 per cent  to EUR300m. Cement accounted for 50.6 per cent of turnover, down from the 52.3 per cent shown in the previous year.

The concrete and aggregates share rose from 32.5 to 34.2 per cent, while other activities accounted for an unchanged 15.2 per cent. Group cement deliveries recovered by 0.9 per cent  to 18.05Mt and aggregates shipments improved by 5.8 per cent  to 22.77Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries increased by 7.5 per cent to 8.52Mm³.

Turnover in France declined by 2.6 per cent, or by an underlying 3.3 per cent, to EUR856m, reflecting another difficult winter and some further weakness in the economic environment. Cement turnover declined by 7.6 per cent  as volumes came off by a further 5.6 per cent. The underlying price remained broadly stable, but there was an unfavourable shift in the product mix. The unfavourable mix continued into the fourth quarter, which saw cement turnover fall by 9.2 per cent. The underlying aggregates tonnage recovered by five per cent, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries eased by around 0.9 per cent. Prices were slightly ahead in ready-mixed concrete, but declined in aggregates, giving a downstream turnover 0.5 per cent just higher for the year, but 5.7 per cent  lower in the final quarter. In other activities, turnover fell by 5.7 per cent, but managed a 2.4 per cent  increase in the fourth quarter. 

In the rest of Europe, turnover rose by four per cent  to EUR427m and at the underlying level the increase was six per cent. The Swiss operations accounted for virtually all of it, or EUR407m. The Swiss cement turnover amounted to EUR113m, with prices being off a little, but volumes increased again. The Swiss concrete and aggregates turnover recovered and showed 13.1 per cent  growth, helped by favourable weather, while prices improved slightly in concrete, aggregates prices were lower because of an unfavourable product mix. Pre-cast concrete reported a 2.2 per cent reduction in turnover. In Italy, turnover fell by 18.1 per cent, with higher prices and an increased emphasis on exports leading to a 25 per cent  drop in volume.

The US turnover improved by 12.6 per cent  to EUR221m, leading to an underlying increase of 16.5 per cent. The cement turnover showed a 6.3 per cent  increase as volumes improved by 5.3 per cent, with fourth quarter volumes being ahead by some 10 per cent.  All of the volume growth was generated in California, with volumes in the south-east being marginally lower. Selling prices were moderately ahead in California but were more markedly ahead in the southeast. Turnover in ready-mixed concrete advanced by 21 per cent on the back of a volume increase exceeding 16 per cent. The gate of growth accelerated in the fourth quarter, notably in California, where turnover advanced by 32.5 per cent. 

Overall Asian turnover increased by 4.2 per cent, or by 14.8 per cent  in local currencies, to EUR461m. Turnover in Turkey rose by 16.5 per cent to EUR235m, though the growth rate moderated to 8.2 per cent in the final quarter. The Turkish cement turnover rose by 16.7 per cent as volumes improved by four per cent. Turnover in aggregates and concrete was ahead by 16.3 per cent, ready-mixed concrete deliveries increasing by in excess of eight per cent and aggregates volumes benefiting from increased housebuilding activity, notably in the Ankara area. 

In India, the turnover increased by 12.7 per cent to EUR155m. On the back of Vicat Sagar Cement's initial contribution, cement deliveries rose by almost 28 per cent to in excess of 3.2Mt. Pricing, however, was volatile and declined over the period under review. In Kazakhstan, volumes at the Jambul Cement works increased by almost five per cent  and the turnover increased by 14.3 per cent  to EUR71m. 

The west African and Egyptian turnover was down for the third year in a row, declining by 11.6 per cent  to EUR322m. In Egypt, turnover declined by 14.1 per cent  as volumes dropped by a further 27 per cent, but the average selling price was substantially higher. Irregular gas supplies continued to disrupt cement production at the Sinai work. 

In west Africa, turnover declined by 4.7 per cent, while cement volumes were 2.1 per cent  lower. Prices in Senegal have now stabilised, but at a lower level than had been achieved in the previous year. Turnover in the final quarter was down by 7.4 per cent on the back of a modest decline in domestic deliveries and a more notable reduction in export volumes.

The full results will be announced on the 10 March.