LafargeHolcim - February 2019

LafargeHolcim’s Indian subsidiary ACC Ltd reported an 8.5 per cent rise in cement deliveries in 2018 to 28.4Mt and in the fourth quarter the advance was 8.7 per cent to 7.5Mt. Cement capacity increased by 5.9Mta thanks to a new greenfield operation in Madhya Pradesh and a new grinding plant in Uttar Pradesh as well as expansions to the plants in Tikaria and Sindri. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 16.6 per cent to 3.16Mt in the year, helped by the commissioning of 18 new plants during the year.

Volumes are expected to show further increases during 2019 as the federal government spends more on infrastructure.  The company’s turnover advanced by 12.1 per cent to INR144.77bn (EUR1.787bn) and EBITDA rose by 10.8 per cent to INR21.18bn (EUR239.66m. Pretax profit jumped 48 per cent to INR13.1bn(EUR163.54m) and net profit was +64.4 per cent higher at INR15.21m (EUR188m).

Meanwhile, Ambuja Cements is to expand the capacity at its Jala Dhulagori cement works in West Bengal from 2.4Mta to 3.4Mta. Work is expected to commence in October 2019.

Ambuja Cement’s cement shipments advanced by 5.4 per cent in 2018 to 24.18Mt, with the fourth quarter increase being 4.4 per cent. The higher electricity, fuel and packing costs were mitigated by improved efficiency and an increased use of alternative fuels. The turnover improved by 7.1 per cent to INR109.77bn (EUR1355.3m) and EBITDA was off by 0.2 per cent to INR18.91bn  (EUR233.5m) while the net profit rose by 19 per cent to INR5.37bn (EUR154.3m). 

On a fully-consolidated basis, Ambuja Cement’s cement sales volume in 2018 was seven per cent higher at 52.58Mt. The turnover was ahead by 9.9 per cent to INR254.19bn (EUR3138.5m) and EBITDA improved by 6.1 per cent to INR40.1bn (EUR495.2m) and the net attributable advanced by 43.6 per cent to INR 21.77bn (EUR268.8m).

The LafargeHolcim associate Huaxin Cement is in the process of constructing a cement works in Uzbekistan. Huaxin Cement Jizzakh is building a 1.2Mta plant at Zafaaribod, which is expected to be completed in December at a cost of some US$150m. At the initial stage, exports are expected to reach 120,000tpa.

In Nepal Huaxin Cement Narayani is about to start the construction of a cement works with completion expected within 18 months. Some US$25m have been spent on buying limestone assets.

LafargeHolcim’s 41.7 per cent-owned associate in Kenya, East African Portland Cement, saw its first-half loss, to the end of December 2018, fall 55 per cent and its trading loss widened by 23.7 per cent.