HeidelbergCement's first half turnover increased by 2.1 per cent to EUR6318m and the EBITDA improved by 2.1 per cent to EUR927.6m while the trading profit advanced by 8.9 per cent to EUR566.2m.
After a net interest charge 3.2 per cent lower at EUR244.7m and other financial items, the pre-tax profit rose by 35.4 per cent to EUR275.4m and the net attributable profit grew by 53.5 per cent to EUR86.8m. Net debt at the end of June was 0.3 per cent lower than a year earlier at EUR8018m, giving a gearing level 4.1 per cent higher at 63.4 per cent. Capital expenditure for the year is expected to be in the region of EUR1200m, and the EUR436m spent in the six months was 38.6 per cent less than was spent in the same period last year.
Deliveries up across the board
Group cement and clinker deliveries increased by 6.7 per cent to 39.8Mt, while the aggregates tonnage rose by 6.5 per cent to 109.23Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 5.2 per cent to 17.2Mm³, while asphalt sales staged a 17.2 per cent recovery to 3.82Mt. HC Trading saw trading volumes advanced by 24.3 per cent to 7.6Mt and the trading volume in coal and petcoke increased by 44.5 per cent to 3.0Mt. Turnover from trading in cementitious and other materials was 27.2 per cent ahead at EUR533m, while the EBITDA improved by 43.2 per cent to EUR15m.
Turnover in Western and Northern Europe improved by 10.1 per cent to EUR2060m a EBITDA rose by 48 per cent to EUR243m. Cement and clinker shipments were 7.4 per cent ahead at 10.4Mt, with volumes benefiting from a mild winter and some economic progress. Aggregates shipments were higher by 11.5 per cent to 31.05Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 10.8 per cent to 6.18Mm³. The asphalt volume advanced by 39.5 per cent to 1.43Mt, while building products, dominated by Hanson in Britain, increased turnover by 18 per cent to EUR244m. The turnover in cement improved by 6.5 per cent to EUR864m and the aggregates turnover rose by 12.9 per cent to EUR400m.
The Eastern European and Central Asian turnover advanced by 3.8 per cent to EUR535m while the EBITDA rose by 24.5 per cent to EUR75m. Cement deliveries were 19.3 per cent higher at 7.81Mt, and only in the Ukraine was growth lacking with a volume reduction of 8 per cent. Poland showed the strongest performance, growing at about 50 per cent and the new 0.8Mt per annum plant in Kazakhstan is now operating. The cement turnover improved by 4.5 per cent to EUR457m. Overall aggregates shipments advanced by 21.5 per cent to 8.11Mt and turnover was 3.6 per cent ahead at EUR42m. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 9.6 per cent to 1.20m m³.
The Asia-Pacific turnover declined by 10.5 per cent on conversion to EUR1448m and the EBITDA was down by 17.7 per cent to EUR347m. However, cement and clinker deliveries improved by 3.5 per cent to 13.07Mt with turnover declining by 12.6 per cent to EUR856m.
In Indonesia, Indocement grew domestic deliveries by 2.7 per cent in spite of increased competitive pressures. A further 1.9Mt of grinding capacity came on stream earlier this year, to be followed by 4.4Mt of integrated capacity by 2015 and two new works in 2017. The Chinese joint ventures in the Guangdong and Shaanxi provinces both sold less cement, but pricing was better. Indian subsidiary's cement deliveries increased by 8.2 per cent.
The joint venture Cement Australia's 1.1Mt of new grinding centre at Port Kembla is in the process of being brought on stream. Aggregates shipments increased by 5.9 per cent to 18.32Mt, thanks to higher shipments in Indonesia and in Australia, but turnover was 9.1 per cent lower at EUR252m. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were off by 0.3 per cent to 5.5Mm³ but the asphalt volume grew by 14.5 per cent to 1.10Mt.
North American turnover was just 0.8 per cent ahead on conversion at EUR1503m but the underlying growth rate in local currency was 7.1 per cent and EBITDA was stable at EUR213m and the trading profit improved by 5.4 per cent to EUR106m. Cement deliveries were 4.6 per cent higher at 5.51Mt and the cement turnover improved by 0.6 per cent to EUR484m. The strongest growth was seen in southern USA, particularly in California, Texas and Florida. Volumes suffered from a harsh winter in the north-eastern parts of the USA and in Canada.
Aggregates deliveries improved by 2.3 per cent to 46.39Mt and the turnover was 1.5 per cent higher at EUR466m. Like in the previous year, volumes were well ahead in the southern and western regions, but suffered from a harsh winter in the Northern and Canadian regions. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 3.9 per cent to 2.85Mm³ and asphalt shipments advanced by 3.9 per cent to 1.03Mt. The turnover in building products declined by five per cent to EUR287m, but the EBITDA did improve by five per cent.
Africa & Mediterranean
Turnover in Africa & the Mediterranean declined by 5.4 per cent to EUR449m, though it rose by 10.6 per cent in local currency, and the EBITDA emerged 0.1 per cent ahead at EUR102m. Cement and clinker shipments declined by two per cent to 3.25Mt and the turnover was 11.5 per cent lower at EUR305m. Cement sales in Africa were two per cent lower, with a sharp decline in Togo and the sale of the stake in Cimgabon, but volumes were ahead in Ghana, Tanzania, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The Turkish joint venture Akçansa increased volumes by almost 7.9 per cent, but under the new accounting rules is accounted for by the equity method. Aggregates shipments were down by 3.6 per cent to 5.36Mt as a result of lower volumes in Israel. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries increased by 4.1 per cent to 1.51Mm³ while asphalt sales in Israel declined by 17.4 per cent to 0.21Mt.