Buzzi Unicem - February 2019

Buzzi Unicem's turnover improved by 2.4 per cent in 2018 to EUR2873m, with a like-for-like improvement of 3.2 per cent. Net debt at the end of December was 3.2 per cent above the level seen a year earlier at EUR891m. Group cement and clinker deliveries in 2018 increased by 4.3 per cent to 27.9Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 3.6 per cent lower at 11.8Mm³.

Buzzi Unicem's Italian turnover benefited from the initial consolidation of the Zillo group for the full year. That helped to bring about a 13.3 per cent advance cement and clinker volumes, compared with an overall flat Italian cement consumption. Exports of cement and clinker increased. Buzzi Unicem’s Italian turnover improved by 7.5 per cent to EUR460m, while on a like for like basis there would have been a 0.9 per cent reduction. Ready-mixed concrete sales declined as the number of batching plants managed directly was reduced. 

The German turnover improved by 7.6 per cent to EUR633m. Cement deliveries were ahead, helped by the consolidation of Seibel & Söhne from May and increased volumes of oil-well cement. Ready-mixed concrete volumes were marginally lower with a better second-half performance and prices improved. The German construction investment, having started the year on a firm note softened during the period, but remained positive for the year. Luxembourg cement volumes tended a little weaker, but the average selling price saw a slight improvement. Ready-mixed concrete volumes in the Benelux were ahead by 11.1 per cent and prices advanced somewhat. The Luxembourg and Dutch turnover improved by 5.5 per cent to EUR197m. 

The Polish turnover improved by 14.8 per cent to EUR111m, with the like-for-like sales growth being 15 per cent. Cement deliveries improved by 6.5 per cent with a stronger performance being seen in the second half and prices strengthened. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were 11 per cent higher and prices improved. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, turnover advanced by 11.2 per cent to EUR165m, helped by a strengthening of the zloty. Cement volumes were up 9.6 per cent on prices that were marginally better. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes were 5.6 per cent higher and the average selling price was also ahead. 

Ukrainian turnover declined by 6.6 per cent to EUR88m, after taking into account an unfavourable exchange rate effect of EUR6.1m. Dyckerhoff’s cement deliveries declined by 11.8 per cent and prices in local currency were well ahead in this high inflation environment. However, ready-mixed concrete volumes continued to increase and prices were well ahead. Russian cement shipments were up by 5.4 per cent in total, but the sale of oil well cement declined. Exports were solid. The drop in the value of the rouble limited the turnover improvement to 0.6 per cent to EUR186m, but, without the negative exchange rate effect, it would have improved by 13 per cent. 

In the United States, turnover declined by 3.7 per cent to EUR1070m. In dollar terms there was a slight increase of 0.7 per cent. Cement deliveries suffered again from negative the weather impacts and full-year volumes declined. Prices did show some improvement in dollar terms. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries, primarily carried out in the Texas, edged ahead by 0.3 per cent and prices recovered.  

The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporación Moctezuma saw turnover decline by some nine per cent to EUR620m as a result of the weakness of the Mexican currency against the euro. At constant exchange rates the sales decline would have been a more modest three per cent. Cement shipments declined, but prices were a little ahead in local currency. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries notably lower but prices in local currency improved.

The full 2018 results will be published on the 28 March.