Holcim sees continued growth in the USA

Holcim sees continued growth in the USA
Published: 30 April 2015

Holcim's first quarter turnover declined by 2.8 per cent to CHF3972m (€3699m), but on a like-for-like basis, there was a 1.6 per cent reduction while measured in euros the turnover was ahead by 10.7 per cent.  Operating EBITDA declined by 3.9 per cent to CHF593m (€552m). The trading profit was down by 11.5 per cent to CHF261m (€243m), while the net attributable profit jumped by 289.3 per cent to CHF310m (€289m).

Net debt at the end of March was 0.3 per cent higher at CHF9670m (€7862m) to give a gearing level of 50.7 per cent, compared with 53.3 per cent a year earlier.

Cement deliveries declined by 5.5 per cent to 31.2Mt, while the mineral components volume rose by 23.1 per cent to 0.8Mt. The aggregates volume increased by 1.2 per cent to 29.5Mt, but ready-mixed concrete declined two per cent to 8Mm³, while sales of asphalt mix increased by 14.9 per cent to 1.6Mt. 

Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific area represented 41.7 per cent of turnover, compared with 41.2 per cent a year ago, or CHF1656m (€1334m), a 1.6 per cent reduction, while EBITDA increased by nine per cent to CHF357m (€290m). Underlying cement deliveries were down by 7.3 per cent at 17.1Mt, of which 11.17Mt, or 65.3 per cent was in India. The two Holcim subsidiaries ACC Ltd and Ambuja Cements saw volumes fall 10.2 per cent to 5.82Mt, and nine per cent 5.35Mt, respectively. In local currency, Ambuja Cements’ turnover declined by 8.1 per cent and EBITDA by 13.4 per cent, while ACC’s turnover fell 2.8 per cent but the EBITDA increased by 43.6 per cent. The overall Indian volumes came off by 9.5 per cent but the price improved by 5.2 per cent.

Holcim Indonesia saw the average price improve by 2.8 per cent but the volume was down by 6.1 per cent. Cement volumes in The Philippines increased 4.8 per cent while the average price was one per cent higher. Volumes were also ahead Vietnam (8.7 per cent) and Malaysia (6.6 per cent), but fell 14.2 per cent in Bangladesh where prices were also lower by 4.7 per cent. 

There was an underlying decline in Australia of three per cent, but in New Zealand an improvement of 8.8 per cent was witnessed. Area aggregates shipments fell 12.5 per cent to 5.3Mt with volumes in Australia being off by 14.8 per cent but 3.1 per cent ahead in Indonesia. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by 0.7 per cent to 2.5Mm³. 

Holcim's European turnover represented 27.6 per cent of the group total and declined by 7.3 per cent to CHF1097m (€892m). EBITDA fell by 19.9 per cent to CHF79m (€64m). Cement deliveries were down by 9.6 per cent to 4.7Mt, but aggregates shipments improved 10.9 per cent to 17.4Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 5.5 per cent to 2.8Mm³. There was a 12.8 per cent increase asphalt, which is mainly in Great Britain, to 1.4Mt.

The strongest volume gains were seen in Germany, thanks to the acquisition of Cemex assets (+69.5 per cent) and in Romania (+29.4 per cent), with smaller increases in Slovakia (+2.9 per cent) and Croatia (+1.2 per cent). On the other hand, notable declines were seen in Serbia (-26.6 per cent), France (-23 per cent), Switzerland (18 per cent), Azerbaijan (16.5 per cent), Spain (-15.6 per cent), Russia (13 per cent) and Italy (12.1 per cent). Prices were lower in all countries other than Russia, Bulgaria and Spain.

Aggregates shipments rose by 10.9 per cent to 17.4Mt, with volumes more than doubling in both Germany and Rumania and showing double-digit growth in Italy and Bulgaria. Double-digit declines were seen in Belgium, Switzerland and France.

Latin America
The Latin American turnover was 2.3 per cent lower at CHF707m (€575m) but EBITDA rose by 10 per cent to CHF231m (€188m). Cement deliveries came down by 1.4 per cent to 5.9Mt and aggregates shipments fell 43.8 per cent to 1.2Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 8.1 per cent to 1.5Mm³. 

Holcim Apasco in Mexico saw cement volumes and prices improve by 8.2 and 5.2 per cent, respectively, while aggregates volumes dropped by 80.2 per cent but prices increased by 37.8 per cent.  Brazilian cement volumes fell 4.8 per cent and prices by 3.9 per cent, while aggregates volumes declined by 33.8 per cent and prices by 3.9 per cent. Cement volumes improved by 6.4 per cent in El Salvador (4.6 per cent), Colombia and Nicaragua (2.8 per cent), but declined in Ecuador (13.9 per cent) and Costa Rica (5.5 per cent).

North America
In North America, turnover advanced by just 11.8 per cent to CHF496m (€403m) and the seasonal loss at the EBITDA level declined by 58.8 per cent to CHF4m (€3m). The trading loss emerged 0.2 per cent lower at CHF.71m.

Cement deliveries did increase by 4.1 per cent to 2.1Mt, with US volumes up by 6.3 per cent while Canadian shipments declined by 10.3 per cent. Prices improved by 8.4 per cent in the USA and by 2.2 per cent in Canada.

Aggregate sales were 8.9 per cent ahead to 5.4Mt, with Canadian and US volumes rising by 9.7 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively. Prices declined by one per cent in Canada but rose by 12.1 per cent in the USA. North American ready-mixed concrete declined by 12.2 per cent to 1Mm³, but the asphalt volume did improve by 32.7 per cent to 0.2Mt.

Africa and the Middle East
There was an 18.4 per cent reduction in turnover in Africa and the Middle East group region to CHF168m (€137m) and the EBITDA fell by 32.6 per cent to CHF45m (€37m).

Cement shipments in the region declined by eight per cent to 1.8Mt. In Morocco domestic cement deliveries declined, but clinker exports increased, while shipments of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete were both lower.

Cement volumes in the Lebanon declined on the back of bad weather, as did aggregates and concrete volumes. Cement deliveries in La Réunion recovered by 6.1 per cent, but fell in Guinea (5.9 per cent) and Côte d’Ivoire (15.8 per cent). Aggregates shipments were 38.4 per cent lower at 0.3Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined 30.5 per cent to 0.1Mm³.