HeidelbergCement sees losses shrink in 1Q16

HeidelbergCement sees losses shrink in 1Q16
Published: 04 May 2016


HeidelbergCement's cement sales volume rose five per cent YoY for the period from January to March 2016, reaching 17.6Mt for the quarter. According to results released by the company, sales of aggregates also rose, while ready-mix volumes were flat and those of asphalt were down by 12 per cent.

Overall, revenue for the period was unchanged on the previous year at EUR2.83bn (US$3.26bn). Operating income before depreciation was up 13 per cent in like-for-like terms at EUR321m (US$369m), while the company booked a loss for the period of EUR31m (US$36m), an improvement of 65 per cent on 2015. The company also paid down some of its debt, lowering this by four per cent to EUR5.9bn (US$6.8bn).

HeidelbergCement attributed rising sales volumes to economic recovery in North America and Europe, which have seen construction demand rise. In Asia sales in Indonesia performed particularly well, with infrastructure investment driving consumption.

Chairman of the Managing Board, Dr Bernd Scheifele, said: “In operational terms, the first quarter of 2016 was the best since the financial crisis and thus continues the positive trend of the previous year. The continued recovery in our mature markets and the improved demand situation in Asia-Pacific, especially in Indonesia, made a significant contribution. We were able to raise the margins in operational terms in all business lines thanks to our margin improvement programmes and price increases in core markets. Furthermore, we have benefited from the declining fuel costs.”

Looking ahead, HeidelbergCement said that its acquisition of Italcementi would be completed later in 2016. The company believes that continued growth in the US, the UK, Germany, northern Europe and Australia – which together account for 60 per cent of the firm’s revenues – will have a positive effect on sales.