Buzzi Unicem - November 2012

Buzzi Unicem's turnover for the first nine months was up by 1.7% to €2,146.3m and the EBITDA increased by 11.7% to €368.7m. The trading profit rose by 29.6% to €198.9m and net financial charges increased by 25.1% to €85.3m. After an 89.3% higher contribution from associates, the pre-tax profit rose by 33.5% to €116.8m. With charges for tax and for minorities increasing more slowly than the pre-tax profit, the net attributable profit jumped by 49.6% to €57.7m.

Net debt at the end of September was 4.2% lower at €1,094.9m giving a gearing level of 40.6% compared with 43.2% a year earlier. Capital investment in the period was 8.0% lower at €106.5m.  Cement deliveries were 3.0% lower at 20.8Mt, with lower volumes being seen in Italy and in Eastern and Central Europe. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 9.1% to 10.3m m³.

The Italian turnover fell by 15.3% to €363.8m, while the EBITDA dropped by 67.8% to €2.7m, but in the absence of any meaningful contribution from the sale of emission rights, that had contributed €13.5m last year and €29.5m the year before, one could speak of an underlying improvement, even if the margin was only 0.7%. Shipments of cement and clinker in the period declined by 21.2%, but cement prices were 16.1% higher than a year earlier. While kiln fuel prices showed a 10.8% decline, electricity costs rose by 10.2%.

German turnover declined by 5.4% to €460.2m and the EBITDA was off by 23.4% to €60.0m, with the contribution from the sale of emission rights being down from €3.9m to €1.8m. Cement volumes declined by 8.5% to 3.80Mt, but the average price improved by 1.5%. Turnover in Luxembourg declined by 8.1% to €79.3m and the EBITDA dropped by 59.5% to €10.7m as cement shipments fell by 9.0% to 0.92Mt. The Dutch turnover was 16.9% lower at €69.3m but a €4.3m EBITDA loss was incurred as the downstream volumes declined. 
The Eastern European turnover improved by 6.9% to €487.5m and the EBITDA advanced by 20.2% to €135.2m. The Polish turnover came off by 23.2% to €86m and the EBITDA was down by 31.1% to some €22m. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia cement deliveries declined by 14.3%. Ukrainian cement sales were off by 1.0% to 1.42Mt but ready-mixed concrete volumes rose by 12.8%, with turnover increasing by 29.3% to €106m and the EBITDA advancing from €8m to €18m.  In Russia, Suchoi Log's cement shipments increased by 18.0% to 2.24Mt and prices were 14.2% higher and the turnover rose by 37.8% to €186m and the EBITDA jumped by 64.0% to €82m.

In the United States, turnover was helped by exchange rate movements and rose by 22.7% to €510.3m and the EBITDA jumped by 116.5% to €88.1m. Cement shipments increased by 10.0% and the average selling price showed a 3.3% recovery in local currency. The higher cement volumes sold in part reflect shale gas exploration in the south-west of the country. Higher fuel prices were partially offset by lower electricity costs.

The 50%-owned Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma increased cement shipments in the nine months by 8.9%, with the average selling price in local currency increasing by 5.9%. In spite of a 1.5% drop in value of the Mexican peso against the euro, the turnover increased by 13.8% to €201.3m and the EBITDA advanced by 23.3% to 76.3m, helped additionally by a 14.7% decline in kiln fuel costs.