Exchange rate helps Lafarge’s 6% EBITDA increase

Exchange rate helps Lafarge’s 6% EBITDA increase
Published: 31 July 2015

Tagged Under: Lafarge business results 

Lafarge's first-half turnover improved by 5.3 per cent to EUR6319m while EBITDA advanced by 5.9 per cent to EUR1223m. The trading profit moved ahead by 7.7 per cent to EUR813m. At the net attributable level, however, there was a EUR477m loss, compared with a EUR70m profit a year ago. Net debt at the end of June was 1.5 per cent higher at EUR10,253m and the gearing level rose from the 65.4 per cent reported in respect of this time last year to 67.8 per cent. Capital expenditure increased by 25.58 per cent to EUR556m and is expected to amount to around EUR1100m for the full year.

Cement deliveries declined by four per cent to 54.7Mt, but the turnover from cement rose by 5.3 per cent to EUR4631m, and the corresponding EBITDA improved by 8.1 per cent to EUR1136m. Including joint ventures there was a 4.2 per cent reduction to 65.4Mt. The turnover on that basis improved by 7.8 per cent to EUR7636m, but EBITDA advanced by a further 7.4 per cent to EUR1426m. The aggregates tonnage was 0.3 per cent lower at 69.7Mt, or 84.5Mt, or 0.8 per cent lower at 84.5m including joint ventures. In ready-mixed concrete, turnover was three per cent higher at EUR1184m, but EBITDA fell by some 10 per cent to EUR28m as deliveries declined by 3.9 per cent to 12.3Mm³, or minus two per cent to 14.5 Mm³ including associates.

European cement deliveries declined by 1.8 per cent to 11.1Mt while the turnover eased by 4.2 per cent to EUR914m, with central and eastern Europe showing a 5.4 per cent decline compared with a 3.4 per cent reduction in western Europe. EBITDA, however, did improve by 25.7 per cent to EUR210m, with improvements of 33 per cent in the west and of 14.1 per cent in the east. Cement volumes declined by 8.6 per cent in Poland, by 6.7 per cent in France, by 2.1 per cent in Spain, by 1.1 per cent in Greece and by 2.4 per cent in the British associate, while increasing by 52.5 per cent in Russia and by 30.4 per cent in Romania.

In the Middle East and Africa region cement deliveries declined by some eight per cent to 19.8Mt, but turnover was 6.5 per cent ahead at EUR1975m and EBITDA improved by 4.7 per cent to EUR554m. The aggregates tonnage improved by five per cent to 5.2Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by six per cent to 2.6Mm³. Cement deliveries rose by 19.8 per cent in Egypt, by 17.4 per cent in Kenya, by six per cent in Nigeria, by 0.2 per cent in Algeria and by 0.1 per cent in the Moroccan associate. On the other hand, there was a 24.5 per cent drop in Iraq because of the civil unrest and there was a 3.3 per cent reduction in South Africa. South African ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 2.6 per cent, but the aggregates volume was ahead by 8.6 per cent.

The Asian turnover staged a 19.3 per cent recovery to EUR1307m, of which cement represented EUR1177m, while EBITDA rose by 15.8 per cent to EUR256m. Cement deliveries were 2.5 per cent higher at 16.4Mt. In terms of cement deliveries, the Philippines showed a volume growth of 11.7 per cent, while India grew by six per cent, South Korea by 2.1 per cent and Malaysia by 1.1 per cent. In Indonesia there was a nine per cent volume reduction. Aggregates shipments declined by some four per cent to 4.2Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by around five per cent to 2.4Mm³.

In North America turnover was boosted by the stronger dollar and rose by 18.4 per cent to EUR1340m, of which cement accounted for EUR605m, a 21.7 per cent increase. EBITDA was 47.8 per cent higher at EUR170m overall and improved by 48.7 per cent to EUR113m in cement. Cement shipments increased by four per cent to 4.8Mt, but volumes were held back by wet weather in the south. The North American aggregates operations saw improve by 4.9 per cent to EUR34m, with underlying volume advances of 12.6 per cent in the USA and of 5.9 per cent in Canada. The ready-mixed concrete volumes were around two per cent higher at 2.4Mm³ on the back of a one per cent reduction in the USA but a 6.1 per cent improvement in Canada.

In Latin America turnover was again negatively affected by the weakness of the Brazilian currency and the sale of the operations in Ecuador. Turnover fell by 36 per cent to EUR224m, of which cement accounted for EUR188m. Group EBITDA dropped by 80.8 per cent to EUR14m, with effectively all of it coming from the cement operations. Cement deliveries were down by a further 11.2 per cent at 2.6Mt. Aggregates shipments were one per cent higher at 1.3Mt, but deliveries of ready-mixed concrete fell by some 38 per cent to 0.4Mm³.