Asia and US improvements boost Vicat nine month results

Asia and US improvements boost Vicat nine month results
06 November 2012


Vicat's turnover for the first nine months of the year edged ahead by 0.2 per cent to EUR1731m, but this represents an underlying decline of one per cent. Asian and US improvements made up for French and African volume declines. 

The gearing level increased to 47.6 per cent at the end of September compared with 43.4 per cent a year earlier and  40.6 per cent two years ago, with the expansion in Asia being the principal reason for the increase in debt levels. Turnover in cement was 0.7 per cent ahead at €879m, which represented 50.8 per cent of the group total. Cement deliveries declined by 1.8 per cent to 13.49Mt. The aggregates and concrete turnover eased by 1.8 per cent to €633m, with shipments of aggregates declining by 5.2 per cent to 16.02Mt and sales of ready-mixed concrete being off by 3.6 per cent to 5.81Mm³. Other activities generated a turnover 2.2 per cent higher at €306m. 

The French consolidated turnover declined eight per cent to €663m in the nine months. Cement turnover fell 11.8 per cent and poor weather early in the year, completion of major projects and a weaker market led to a 13 per cent fall in volumes, but the average selling price did improve. 

Turnover in the rest of Europe, emerged 1.1 per cent higher at €307m, though at the underlying level there was a 1.3 per cent decline. The Swiss operations saw underlying turnover ease by 1.6 per cent. Cement deliveries suffered from a difficult first quarter, but most of the volume then lost was made up for in the following two quarters and prices improved.

In the United States, turnover recovered by 24.4 per cent to €151m, but the underlying improvement was a more modest 13.4 per cent with most of the remainder reflecting exchange rate movements.  The cement volume rose by more than 21 per cent, both in California and in Alabama, but the average selling price was lower than in the same period last year. 

Turnover in Asia increased by 26.8 per cent to €332m. The Turkish turnover improved by an underlying 10.8 per cent to €163m, thanks to strong second and third quarter performances after a harsh winter.  Consolidated cement sales rose by 11.1 per cent and selling prices were higher.

The Indian turnover rose by an underlying 34.6 per cent to €118m as production built up at Bharathi Cement's modern works, which produced almost 1.9m tonnes of cement during period. In Kazakhstan, the new Jambyl works produced 0.77Mt of cement compared with 0.36Mt last year when it was only being ramped up from the beginning of April. Selling prices improved throughout the period and turnover advanced from €19.7m to €51m.     

In Africa and Egypt, turnover declined by 13.3 per cent to €278m, which translates into an underlying reduction of 15.2 per cent. The Egyptian turnover fell by 30.3 per cent and volumes dropped by 29 per cent, while local prices were little changed. Damage to the gas pipeline reduced efficiency as it forced a switch to oil firing, but this was overcome in early October. Underlying turnover in western African declined by 6.3 per cent, and cement volumes were flat in spite of the decline in Mali caused by the political situation there.

Published under Cement News

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