HeidelbergCement Q2 operating profit jumps

HeidelbergCement Q2 operating profit jumps
04 August 2006

HeidelbergCement reported operating profit of EUR498m (up from EUR325) operating profit on Friday, thanks to a recovery in demand in Europe, strong growth in North America and cost cuts. 
In the first half of the year, cement and clinker sales volumes rose by 16% to 36.6Mt (previous year: 31.5). Excluding changes in the consolidation scope, the increase amounted to 10.8%. Demand in the European countries and the Africa-Asia-Mediterranean Basin Group area experienced particularly lively development. In North America, sales volumes in the second quarter increased only slightly, but remained at a high level overall.

Ready-mixed concrete sales volumes grew by just under 14% in total to 14.2 million cubic metres; a pleasing increase of 17.2% was recorded in sales volumes of aggregates, which reached 44.6Mt.

In the first half of the year, turnover rose by 22.3% compared with the previous year to EUR 4,276m (previous year: 3,498). Excluding exchange rate and consolidation effects, Group turnover grew by 16.7%. All major countries achieved double-digit growth.

The highest growth rates were recorded by the countries of Eastern Europe, with the exception of the Czech Republic. Germany, Sweden, the Benelux countries and the United Kingdom also achieved noticeable increases in sales volumes. In total, our cement and clinker sales volumes in Europe rose by 20.7 per cent to 17.8Mt (previous year: 14.8). Excluding the new consolidations, this corresponds to a growth of 12.4%. Sales volumes of ready-mixed concrete and aggregates also developed positively in almost all countries, with considerable increases in most cases. The turnover of the Europe Group area rose by 21.5 per cent to EUR 1,868m.

Construction demand in the US is supported primarily by commercial and public construction and, in Canada, by residential construction. In the first half of the year, the cement and clinker sales volumes of HeidelbergCement’s plants were 8.8 per cent above the previous year’s level, with 7.4Mt. With full utilisation of production capacities, sales volumes rose slightly once again in the second quarter. Around a quarter of the total sales volumes are imported from other Group areas. Deliveries of ready-mixed concrete and aggregates also increased; however, this is partly attributable to consolidation effects. The turnover of the North America Group area rose by 32.2% to EUR 1,205m.
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