Vicat improves cement shipments by more than 12%

Vicat improves cement shipments by more than 12%
Published: 29 April 2014


Vicat's first quarter turnover increased by 9.2 per cent to €536m, which represents an underlying improvement of 14 per cent.

The cement turnover improved by 6.8 per cent to €325m, as cement shipments rose by 12.2 per cent to 4.60Mt. The turnover in concrete and aggregates was 9.8 per cent higher at €199m as aggregates shipments rose by 9.0 per cent to 5.15Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries increased by five per cent to 1.89Mm³. Other products and services generated a 10.1 per cent increase in turnover to €90m, and at the consolidated level the increase was 11.4 per cent to €67m.

The net debt ratio rose from 52 per cent to 54 per cent of shareholders' funds. Higher volumes were registered in France, Switzerland the USA, Turkey, India, Egypt and West Africa. Only in Kazakhstan and Italy did shipments decline.

The French turnover recovered 7.6 per cent to €197m, thanks to more favourable weather conditions than in the previous year. The turnover in cement improved by 5.2 per cent, or by 8.1 per cent before inter-group eliminations, with cement being ahead by more than six per cent though the average price did ease a bit, principally because of a less favourable product mix. Concrete and aggregates turnover improved by 6.4 per cent, with aggregates shipments increasing by more than 17 per cent and ready-mixed concrete deliveries being more than six per cent ahead. Other products and services saw turnover increase by a more modest 4.6 per cent.

Elsewhere in Europe, turnover increased by 22.2 per cent to €89m, in spite of a further double-digit drop in Italy. The Swiss turnover amounted to €85. Underlying cement sales rose by 13 per cent, as cement volumes advanced and prices were virtually stable. Turnover aggregates and ready-mixed concrete jumped by 39.2 per cent as favourable weather and underlying demand improvement combined to boost volumes. Prices were little changed, both in the case of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete. The pre-cast concrete turnover rose by 25.9 per cent, boosted by a 30 per cent volume increase, with demand from the railway industry being notably buoyant. The Italian turnover fell by 17.6 per cent as volumes registered a 19.2 per cent drop, but selective bidding allowed a slight improvement in the average price.

In the United States, turnover improved by 9.5 per cent to €51m, though allowing for exchange rate and other adjustment to parameters, the underlying increase was 12.8 per cent. The underlying cement turnover rose by 13.7 per cent as volumes advanced by more than 3 per cent. Volumes rose by nearly five per cent in California and were stable in the southeast. Prices were ahead of a year ago, more so in the southeast than in California. In ready-mixed concrete, turnover improved by 14.9 per cent on volumes that were more than seven per cent higher. The prices achieved were ahead, more so in southeast than in California, with further price increases being introduced in April.

Turnover in Turkey, India and Kazakhstan eased by 0.9 per cent to €101m. The Turkish turnover showed an underlying increase of 25.8 per cent to €44m, helped by favourable weather conditions. The cement turnover increased by 30.5 per cent though cement shipments were just 3.5 per cent ahead but prices advanced strongly. The turnover in aggregates and concrete improved by a more modest 5.9 per cent as volumes fluctuated, but prices continued to rise. The Indian turnover improved by an underlying 27.2 per cent to €47m, though when measured in euros the increase was just €3m, or less than seven per cent. Cement deliveries rose by 33.5 per cent to close to 1.1Mt, but domestic prices showed a 6 per cent contraction in local currency. In Kazakhstan, turnover declined by 14 per cent to some €9m and the cement volume sold declined by almost 14 per cent, compared with an unusually favourable weather in the comparable period last year while the pricing scenario was stable.

Africa and the Middle East increased turnover by 12.5 per cent, or an underlying 15.6 per cent, to €98m. The Egyptian turnover staged an underlying 26.7 per cent improvement to €27m as volumes staged a near 12 per cent recovery, helped by improved security and availability of gas supplies. The cement price showed a strong increase. In West Africa, turnover increased by 11.6 per cent and volumes rose by 14 per cent, as domestic cement deliveries rose and export volumes advanced more strongly. Prices, however, were lower than a year ago, reflecting increased competitive pressures in Sénégal.