Italian cement major Buzzi Unicem saw turnover decline by 2.1 per cent last year to EUR2754m as the company saw another fall in its domestic market of Italy, but Russia and the US were its best performers.
Net debt at the end of December was 5.3 per cent below the level seen a year earlier at EUR1066m. Group cement deliveries in 2013 increased by 0.3 per cent to 27.4Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 5.1 per cent to 12.9Mm³. The underlying EBITDA, which will be announced on the 27 March, is expected to show an improvement on the EUR 455.1m shown for 2012.
Buzzi Unicem's Italian turnover declined by another 9.2 per cent to EUR435m. The company's sales of hydraulic binders did better than the overall market and declined by just 3.1 per cent, thanks to increased export shipments and clinker sales to other cement producers. The average selling price was 2.1 per cent lower, largely reflecting the product mix. This all compares very favourably with the overall Italian market, which is believed to have been off by around 15 per cent in volume terms.
Overall Italian cement consumption fell for the seventh year in a row to some 21.7Mt, which is about 54 per cent below the peak that was seen in 2006. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by a further 18.5 per cent, but prices were pretty stable and showed a 0.5 per cent improvement.
The German turnover eased by 0.7 per cent to EUR600m. Cement deliveries, which had been weak during the first half, showed some recovery in the second half and ended the year just 0.8 per cent lower and the average selling price improved by 1.2 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 0.9 per cent, but increased by 2.3 per cent at the underlying level, as some plants were transferred to the Luxembourg subsidiary, and the average selling price was up by 1.7 per cent.
The Luxembourg turnover increased by 4.9 per cent to EUR109m, but the 2013 figure included EUR10.6m of sales that had previously been booked in Germany. Luxembourg cement volumes declined 3.7 per cent because of lower exports, while the average selling price was stable. The Dutch turnover declined by 16.4 per cent to EUR73m, with ready-mixed concrete volumes declining by a further 15.3 per cent and prices easing by 3.7 per cent
The Polish turnover declined by a further by 7.3 per cent to EUR101m, of which the devaluation of the zloty accounted for EUR0.3m. Cement deliveries recovered by 2.5 per cent but prices eased by 1.8 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were down by 17.4 per cent and prices fell by 7.6 per cent. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, turnover declined by 11.9 per cent to EUR 132m, of which EUR 3.7m represented the devaluation of the Czech crown. Cement volumes declined by 15.5 per cent on prices that were off by 1.0 per cent. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were 4.5 per cent lower but prices did improve by 1.7 per cent.
Ukrainian turnover declined by 7.8 per cent to EUR124m, of which EUR5.2m reflected the depreciation of the local currency. Cement deliveries declined by 7.3 per cent, while prices in local currency improved by 2.4 per cent.
In Russia, cement demand remained good and volumes improved by 7.3 per cent while the price increased by 5.8 per cent in local currency. As a result, the turnover advanced by six per cent to EUR249m, and, without the negative exchange rate effect, would have increased by 12.4 per cent.
In the United States, turnover improved by 7.3 per cent to EUR730m, but in dollar terms the increase was 10.9 per cent. Cement deliveries improved by 8.7 per cent, thanks to good demand in the northeastern, southeastern and southwestern regions, while prices advanced by 3.2 per cent in dollar terms as the recovery in building activity got further established. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were ahead by five per cent and prices improved by 6.4 per cent.
The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma saw a 12.9 per cent reduction in turnover to EUR235m, not helped by currency movements, without which the increase would have been 12.5 per cent. Cement shipments declined by nine per cent to 5.4Mt. Prices weakened as a result of weaker demand and increased competitive pressures and declined by 7.2 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, deliveries declined by 3.4 per cent but prices increased by one per cent.