Lafarge's final full year turnover and EBITDA in decline

Lafarge's final full year turnover and EBITDA in decline
Published: 18 February 2015


Lafarge's turnover eased by 1.9 per cent to EUR12,843m in 2014 and the EBITDA came off 2.6 per cent to EUR2721m, having fallen by 9.4 per cent in 2013. Including share of associates, turnover eased by 0.2 per cent to EUR15,167m and the EBITDA by 0.4 per cent to EUR3091m.

The trading profit was off by 2.9 per cent to EUR1,881m, but was 0.4 per cent ahead at EUR2084m including associates and carbon credits received recovered from EUR14m to EUR37m.  Net financial charges declined by a further 11.6 per cent to EUR870m while the pre-tax profit declined by 33.8 per cent to EUR659m. Net attributable profit, after a EUR143m increase in the tax charge and a 13.8 per cent lower minorities charge, fell from EUR601m to EUR143m.

Net debt at the end of December was 5.4 per cent lower at EUR9310m, giving a gearing level of 53.8 per cent, or 60.2 per cent excluding minorities. Capital expenditure was increased by 4.5 per cent last year to EUR1025m.

Cement shipments recover
Cement shipments recovered by 1.6 per cent to 139 per cent (116.4 per cent excluding share of joint ventures) and the turnover from came down by one per cent to EUR9166m and the EBITDA by 2.4 per cent to EUR2380m.

Turnover in aggregates and concrete was 3.2 per cent lower at EUR4,271m and the EBITDA came down by 4.1 per cent to EUR394m. Aggregates deliveries were one per cent lower at 190.8 per cent (161.4Mt) and generated a turnover three per cent lower at EUR1866m, but EBITDA rose by 10.3 per cent to EUR267m.

Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 0.3 per cent lower at 30.6m m³, with the turnover being off by 2.7 per cent to EUR2322m and the EBITDA fell by 32.4 per cent to EUR75m.

Performance by region


Middle East & Africa
Turnover in the Middle East and Africa rose by 2.2 per cent per cent to EUR3711m and the EBITDA improved by 1.1 per cent to EUR1043m. Cement represented a turnover of EUR3314m, or 89.3 per cent of the total, while the EBITDA amounted to EUR1016m, with cement deliveries being 3.5 per cent higher at 41.6 per cent.

Aggregates shipments increased by a further 14.1 per cent to 9.7 per cent and ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by some seven per cent to 5.5Mm³.

Egypt, where Holcim holds a sizeable minority in the Lafarge subsidiary, volumes staged a 16.9 per cent recovery. Because of problems with gas supplies, the company has invested in coal mills and was burning 40 per cent petcoke at the end of 2014 and should be able to eliminate gas all together later in 2015. Algerian volumes were 3.6 per cent higher and turnover improved by 7.7 per cent, but the Moroccan associate saw cement volume decline by5.9 per cent. Iraq's volumes suffered from the civil war and fell by 16.7 per cent and operations in Syria were suspended in September.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the Nigerian turnover improved by 6.8 per cent while volumes were ahead by four per cent, but prices came under pressure during the fourth quarter. In Kenya, volumes showed a 1.6 per cent recovery, but other effects were negative leaving turnover 0.3 per cent lower. In South Africa, cement volumes declined by 9.6 per cent and ready-mixed concrete deliveries came off by 1.8 per cent but aggregates shipments rose by 14.5 per cent.

Europe
Lafarge's European turnover declined by 5.3 per cent to EUR3176m and the EBITDA recovered by 11.2 per cent to EUR517m. Cement deliveries were 2.4 per cent lower at 23.9 per cent and aggregates shipments eased by 0.7 per cent to 54.7 per cent while ready-mixed concrete deliveries stable at 9.3Mm³.
The results were boosted by a EUR23m increase in carbon credits in the year.

French cement volumes declined by 6.7 per cent, while aggregates volumes came off by 4.5 per cent and ready-mixed concrete volumes were 7.5 per cent lower. The British joint venture’s cement volumes rose by 4.4 per cent. Cement and clinker deliveries in Spain were 0.4 per cent lower, while in Greece shipments improved by 5.1 per cent, after several years of falling volumes.

Central and Eastern European cement volumes were off by some three per cent to 11.8 per cent. The important Polish market showed a 0.1 per cent volume reduction while aggregates shipments improved by 2.8 per cent. In Romania cement shipments recovered by 2.1 per cent, while in Russia, helped by the coming on stream of the new works near Moscow, volumes rose by 8.9 per cent. 

North America
The North American turnover declined by 1.8 per cent to EUR3008m, though at the underlying level there was a four per cent improvement. The EBITDA improved by 4.7 per cent to EUR578m and the trading profit rose by 10.8 per cent to EUR578m.

Cement shipments were 3.5 per cent ahead at 11.7 per cent, with cement volumes increasing by 5.5 per cent in the USA and by 1.8 per cent in Canada. The higher US cement shipments had a notably beneficial effect on profits. The cement business generated a turnover 2.5 per cent higher at EUR1287m and the EBITDA improved by 12.8 per cent to EUR327m.

North American aggregates turnover declined by 5.7 per cent to EUR978m but the EBITDA did improve by 10.2 per cent to EUR162m, with shipments being off by 5.5 per cent to 85.5 per cent. Aggregates shipments increased by 3.8 per cent in the USA, but declined by 2.9 per cent in Canada.

In ready-mixed concrete, turnover declined by 13.5 per cent to EUR697m and the EBITDA fell by 39 per cent to EUR30m with deliveries being some three per cent lower at 5.5Mm³. Ready-mixed concrete volumes declined by 8.1 per cent in the USA and by 4.1 per cent in Canada.

Asia
The Asian group turnover moved ahead by 2.9 per cent to EUR2,236m, of which cement accounted for EUR2007m. The EBITDA declined by 14.3 per cent to EUR433m. Cement shipments improved by 7.8 per cent to 31.9 per cent and aggregates shipments were some 3 per cent higher at 8.5 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined yet again, being some 12 per cent lower at 4.7m m³ as Indian shipments fell a further 11.4 per cent.

Helped by the new 2.6Mta works in Rajasthan, cement volumes in India jumped by 34.8 per cent, but prices in the East were four per cent lower. Production limitations in Malaysia saw the annual volume decline by 1.5 per cent and in South Korea, market weakness led to a 3.7 per cent volume reduction. In the Philippines grew by 7.6 per cent over the year and more strongly during the second half. The Chinese joint venture increased volumes by 1.0 per cent.

Latin America
In Latin America, turnover was reduced by 18.1 per cent to EUR712m, largely reflecting the sale of the activities in Ecuador in May and devaluation of the Brazilian currency. The effect on the EBITDA more noticeable and was a 37.5 per cent fall to EUR150m. Cement accounted for 83.8 per cent of turnover and all of the EBITDA. Cement deliveries were some 18 per cent lower at 7.3m, with aggregates shipments being some 9 per cent higher at three per cent and ready-mixed concrete deliveries rising by about 16 per cent to 1.4Mm³. The Brazilian cement deliveries declined by 2.2 per cent but Lafarge is expecting volumes to be at least stable in 2015.