HeidelbergCement benefits from additional capacities

HeidelbergCement benefits from additional capacities
Published: 07 May 2015


HeidelbergCement's first quarter turnover improved by 12.4 per cent to EUR2,835m and the EBITDA improved by 45.9 per cent to EUR299m and the trading profit jumped 183 per cent to EUR115m. The net interest charge declined by 1.3 per cent to EUR158m and the pre-tax loss was reduced by 12.9 per cent to EUR101m and the net attributable loss declined by 16.3 per cent to EUR123m.

Capital expenditure for the full year should be around EUR1200m, half of which would for expansion. Net debt at the end of March was reduced by 22.2 per cent to EUR6100m to give a gearing level of 38.3 per cent, compared with 63.1 per cent a year earlier.

Group cement and clinker shipments eased by 0.9 per cent to 16.84Mt. The international trading activities of HC Trading increased volumes by 35 per cent to 2.3Mt. Total trading turnover increased by 15.5 per cent to EUR282Mt with total building materials volume increasing by 11.9 per cent to 4Mt. Aggregates shipments improved by 4.4 per cent to 44.33Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries advanced by 1.9 per cent to 7.86Mm³ and the asphalt volume rose by 2.6 per cent to 1.57Mt.

Western & Northern European turnover increased by 4.9 per cent to EUR889m and EBITDA advanced by 59.8 per cent to a EUR37m. Turnover in cement eased by 0.4 per cent to EUR381m and the EBITDA margin declined from 2.1 per cent to 1.2 per cent. Cement and clinker deliveries declined by 4.1 per cent to 4.43Mt. The volume increased in Great Britain and Sweden but was lower in most other markets, including exports to Russia. Aggregates shipments were virtually unchanged at 13.90Mt while the turnover rose by 12.5 per cent to EUR200m, with the margin recovering from 11.4 per cent to 14.7 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 0.1 per cent ahead at 2.73Mm³. Asphalt operations, which are mainly in Great Britain, increased by 8.5 per cent to 0.75Mt. 

Eastern Europe & Central Asia reported an 8.4 per cent decline in turnover to EUR177m, and EBITDA loss was reduced by 48.9 per cent to EUR6m. Cement turnover fell by 12.5 per cent to EUR146m and the EBITDA margin was reduced from 0.9 per cent to 0.8 per cent as the volume was reduced by 3.7 per cent to 2.72Mt. In aggregates, volumes rose by 27.2 per cent to 2.96Mt and the turnover advanced by 17.8 per cent to EUR14m. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 21.9 per cent to 0.55m m³ and the turnover advanced by 22.2 per cent to EUR31m. The volumes showed a further good advance in Poland and the outlook in the rest of Eastern Europe is positive, while the new 0.8Mta cement works in western Kazakhstan is boosting volumes, though margins are under pressure from imports. 

Asia-Pacific turnover increased by 11.2 per cent to EUR693m and the EBITDA advanced by 21 per cent to EUR181m. In cement, the turnover rose by 11.8 per cent to EUR3746m and the EBITDA margin improved from 31.5 per cent to 32.3 per cent. Cement and clinker volumes were 3.9 per cent lower at 5.59Mt. Aggregates turnover increased by 16.8 per cent EUR134m and the volume improved by 2.9 per cent to 8.80Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries edged ahead by 0.1 per cent to 2.58Mm³ while asphalt sales declined by 6.7 per cent to 0.47Mt and the turnover advanced by 11.7 per cent to EUR260m.

Indocement in Indonesia produced a solid achievement helped by better prices and strict cost management, while higher volumes and lower variable costs more than compensated for weaker pricing. Bangladesh produced a solid improvement, helped by lower raw material costs.

In Australia aggregates and ready-mixed concrete volumes were ahead, while in China lower variable costs were not enough to compensate for the lower prices.

North American turnover improved by 29.3 per cent to EUR623m and the EBITDA advanced by 197.9 per cent to EUR38m. The cement turnover was 25.8 per cent ahead at EUR239m as the volume increased by 2.0 per cent to 2.22Mt and the EBITDA margin in cement rose from 2.9 per cent to 8.6 per cent.

Aggregates shipments increased by 6.0 per cent to 18.14Mt with the turnover being 33.8 per cent ahead at EUR231m. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 7.1 per cent ahead at 1.29Mm³, while asphalt sales rose by 11.3 per cent to 0.26Mt.

Cement deliveries rose in California and in the northern region, but were lower in the south because of heavy rain. Aggregates sales strong. Prices have been increased in all markets and a further price increase has been announced. In Canada, concrete volumes have improved, but cement sales to the oil industry is lower.

In Africa and the Mediterranean rim, turnover improved by 15.3 per cent to EUR2650m and the EBITDA rose by 51.4 per cent to EUR72m. The cement and clinker volume improved by 14.4 per cent to 1.90Mt but the aggregates volume declined by 1.6 per cent to 2.67Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries came off by five per cent to 0.72Mm³ and asphalt sales volume fell by 10.8 per cent to 0.09Mt. Good growth was seen from Ghana and Tanzania in particular, as well as from Togo. Spanish volumes are stabilising at a low level. In Turkey poor weather led to a volume reduction, but the cement price is well ahead. Israel saw some price pressure in concrete, but turnover and results are at a good level.