Lafarge sees growth in the Middle East & Africa

Lafarge sees growth in the Middle East & Africa
Published: 30 April 2015


Lafarge's first quarter turnover increased by 5.5 per cent to €2779m and EBITDA rose by 17.5 per cent to €403m, while the running profit advanced by 40.4 per cent to €205m. Net financial costs were reduced by 18.1 per cent to €190m but the pre-tax loss declined from €101m to €99m, with the net attributable loss declining by 28.9 per cent to €96m. Net debt at the end of March was 1.5 per cent lower at €9803m, giving a gearing level of 59.2 per cent.

Cement deliveries in the quarter were down by 3.9 per cent to 29.8Mt. Turnover from cement rose by 8.7 per cent to €3395m, while the corresponding EBITDA was 21.1 per cent higher at €482m. The aggregates tonnage rose by 0.6 per cent to 33.5Mt but ready-mixed concrete volume fell 1.5 per cent to 6.5Mm³. 

Middle East and Africa
Middle East and Africa group region produced a turnover that was 8.8 per cent higher at €972m. EBITDA rose by 3.6 per cent to €259m, representing 64.7 per cent of the group total. In cement, turnover increased by 6.9 per cent to €865m and EBITDA advanced 3.7 per cent to €254m as cement deliveries were 5.7 per cent lower at 9.9Mt. Aggregates shipments were one per cent higher at 2.4Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by some 3 per cent to 1.3m m³. 

Domestic cement deliveries in Egypt rose by 20.4 per cent. In Morocco, cement shipments recovered by 0.8 per cent and prices showed some recovery. Algerian cement shipments declined by 3.2 per cent but other effects were somewhat positive. In Iraq volumes dropped by 29.2 per cent and other effects were also negative giving a turnover reduction of 40.5 per cent.  Nigerian volumes improved by 6.6 per cent, while Kenyan volumes grew  13.9 per cent. In South Africa, cement volumes were 0.8 per cent ahead, while aggregates deliveries were ahead by 13.1 per cent and ready-mixed concrete advanced 13.5 per cent.

Europe
Total European turnover declined by 9.3 per cent to €613m, with the cement turnover falling by 7.8 per cent to €366m and the cement EBITDA €50m with an Eastern European winter loss of €5m. Cement shipments declined from 4.5Mt to 4.2Mt.

French cement volumes were down by 7.1 per cent and prices remained under pressure. British cement shipments declined by 2.5 per cent but prices improved. Spanish cement volumes improved by two per cent but clinker sales were down and in Greece volumes came off by 9.4 per cent.  In Poland, another harsh winter led to cement shipments dropping by 5.3 per cent. Romanian volumes rose by 16.3 per cent, helped by kind weather. Russian volumes rose by 77 per cent as the new 2Mta works was being ramped up. Downstream, French volumes fell by 16.8 per cent in aggregates and by eight per cent in ready-mixed concrete, while Polish aggregates shipments recovered by 2.3 per cent. 

Asia
Asian turnover improved by 24.1 per cent to €639m and the EBITDA increased by 27.4 per cent to €121m. The Asian cement turnover was 24.5 per cent ahead at €575m and the EBITDA rose by 25.3 per cent to €119m, with cement shipments being six per cent higher at 8Mt.

In China, domestic volumes declined by 8.3 per cent and prices remained under some pressure. Philippine cement deliveries rose by 12.7 per cent and in Malaysia cement deliveries were ahead by 3.8 per cent prices were firm. Indonesian volumes fell by 17.8 per cent and prices improved. In India volumes rose by 6.7 per cent and prices were weaker while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were off by 1.31 per cent. South Korean cement volumes improved by 3.3 per cent and prices were slightly higher.

North America
The North American turnover increased by 15.7 per cent to €435m, of which cement accounted for €197m – a 16.6 per cent increase. The EBITDA loss was reduced from €62m to €44m.

Cement shipments were one per cent ahead at 1.5Mt, with US cement volumes being off by 4.1 per cent but prices did improve. Severe weather led to reduced use of cement in the US northeast region. In Canada cement volumes increased by five per cent.

North American aggregates improved by three per cent to 10.6Mt with US volume increasing by 7.4 per cent and Canadian volume by 9.9 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 4 per cent lower at 0.8Mm³ with US concrete deliveries declining by 13.7 per cent and Canadian concrete deliveries increasing by 2.7 per cent

Latin America
In Latin America, turnover declined by 30.6 per cent to €120m and the EBITDA came off by 47.4 per cent to €20m. In cement, turnover declined by 26 per cent to €100m. Cement deliveries declined by 26 per cent to 1.4Mt as work was being finished ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.