Buzzi Unicem sees improvements in the USA and Czech Republic

Buzzi Unicem sees improvements in the USA and Czech Republic
Published: 11 February 2015

Tagged Under: USA Europe Italy Buzzi Unicem 

Buzzi Unicem's turnover eased by 0.1 per cent last year to €2506m, but ignoring the exchange rate effect there would have been a 3.4 per cent improvement. Net debt at the end of December was 3.1 per cent below the level seen a year earlier at €1063m.

Group cement deliveries in 2014 increased by 1.8 per cent to 25.1Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 1.4 per cent to 12Mm³.

Domestic reduction in line with overall market
Buzzi Unicem's Italian turnover declined by a further 9.3 per cent to €392m. The company's sales of hydraulic binders declined by 7.6 per cent as export shipments were constrained by an excessive supply in the Mediterranean area. The average selling price fell by 6.6 per cent, partially reflecting the product mix. The volume reduction was in line with the overall Italian market. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries did, however, improve by 0.7 per cent while prices were 5.3 per cent lower.

Rest of Europe
The German turnover advanced by 1.7 per cent to €603m. Cement deliveries did improve by 3.7 per cent and the average selling price was a marginal 0.2 per cent higher. Exports and sales of white cement both increased, but oil well cement sales were a bit lower.  Ready-mixed concrete volumes and prices were virtually unchanged from the previous year.  Luxembourg cement volumes declined 1.6 per cent because of lower exports and the average selling price was slightly lower. Ready-mixed concrete volumes were 6.6 per cent lower and prices weakened. The Luxembourg turnover was 3.2 per cent lower at €106m. The Dutch turnover fell by 20.9 per cent to €58m, with ready-mixed concrete volumes declining by a further 12.1 per cent and prices easing by 2.3 per cent

The Polish turnover was down by a further by 11.9 per cent to €101m, in spite of a revaluation of the zloty adding €0.3m. Cement deliveries fell by 17.6 per cent and prices eased by 1.3 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were up by 6.1 per cent but prices fell by 1.1 per cent. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, turnover improved by 1.4 per cent to €134m. Cement volumes were up by 14.6 per cent on prices that were down by 2.9 per cent. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were two per cent ahead and prices were stable.

Ukrainian turnover fell by 28.9 per cent to €88m, with the depreciation of the local currency having reduced the sales €41.1m. Not being in the troubled areas, Dyckerhoff was not seriously affected be the turmoil and cement deliveries actually improved by 2.3 per cent and prices in local currency improved by 3.1 per cent. In Russia, cement demand declined during the fourth quarter and volumes were off by 1.4 per cent in the year while the price increased by 2.7 per cent in local currency. The turnover was adversely affected by the fall in the value of the rouble and declined by 15.6 per cent to €210m, and, without the negative exchange rate effect, it would have increased by 0.6 per cent.

US prices advance
In the United States, turnover improved by 17.3 per cent to €856m, and in dollar terms the increase was similar. Cement deliveries were ahead by 9.5 per cent, thanks to good demand in the midwestern and southwestern regions. Prices advanced by 6.7 per cent as the recovery in housebuilding activity spread to other segments of the building industry. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries, primarily carried out in the South West, increased by 9.3 per cent and prices rose by 12.3 per cent. 
 
Favourable Mexican trends
The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma saw turnover increase by 11.3 per cent to €520m, not helped by currency movements, without which the increase would have been 15.8 per cent. Cement shipments showed a favourable trend and prices improved. In ready-mixed concrete, deliveries declined slightly, but prices improved, helped by a reduction in the number of active batching plants.

The full 2014 results are to be published on 27 March 2015.