HeidelbergCement increases pre-tax profit by 52.1 per cent

HeidelbergCement increases pre-tax profit by 52.1 per cent
02 August 2013

HeidelbergCement's first half turnover was virtually unchanged at €6560.4m (-0.3 per cent), while the EBITDA improved by 5.1 per cent to €953.1m as energy and raw material costs eased. The trading profit was up by 6.9 per cent to €540.4m and after a net interest charge 7.4 per cent lower at €259.3m and other financial items, the pre-tax profit rose by 52.1 per cent to €254.0m. Lower charges for tax and minorities led to a net attributable profit of €175m compared with a €27.3m loss a year earlier.

Net debt at the end of June was one per cent higher at €8,199m, giving a gearing level six per cent higher at 61.6 per cent. Capital expenditure for the year is expected to be in the region of €1100m, while the €720m spent in the six months included €301.9m spent on sizeable acquisitions in Australia, Russia and England.

Group cement and clinker deliveries eased by 0.8 per cent to 42.4Mt, while aggregates shipments declined by 5.8 per cent to 107.55Mt and asphalt sales were off by four per cent to 3.52Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 1.6 per cent to 18.8Mm³. HC Trading saw trading volumes improve by 15.8 per cent to 6.1Mt and the trading volume in coal and pet-coke increased by 13.8 per cent to 2.1Mt. Turnover from trading in cementitous and other materials was 6.2 per cent higher at €419m, while the EBITDA eased by 1.5 per cent to €11m.

Turnover in Western and Northern Europe declined by 4.7 per cent to €1934m but the EBITDA was off by just 4.1 per cent to €177m. Cement and clinker shipments were 5.5 per cent lower at 9.67Mt, with volumes down in all countries except for Great Britain, but Germany and the Nordic area should recover in the second half as the weather improves. Aggregates shipments fell by 11 per cent to 31.97Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries were only off by 1.6 to 6.18m m³. The asphalt volume came down by 13.3 per cent to 1.28Mt, while building products, dominated by Hanson in Britain, saw turnover decline by 10.5 per cent to €207m. The turnover in cement was off by 2.2 per cent to €812m and the aggregates turnover declined by 7.9 per cent to €392m.

The Eastern European and Central Asian turnover was 13.4 per cent lower at €556m and the EBITDA fell by 23.9 per cent to €67m. Cement deliveries were down by 11.8 per cent to 7.02Mt, with lower volumes in Central Europe not being made up for by the good increase in Russia and slight improvements in Kazakhstan the Ukraine and Bosnia-Hercegovina. The new 0.8Mta plant under construction near the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan should go on-stream next year. Overall aggregates deliveries were off by 11.5 per cent to 7.02Mt, but in Russia there was a double-digit increase. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 7.2 per cent to 1.50m m³. 

Asia Pacific turnover improved by 5.6 per cent to €1,748m and the EBITDA was ahead by 10.6 per cent to €437m. Cement and clinker deliveries rose by 4.8 per cent to 15.55Mt with the turnover advancing by 8.1 per cent to €1,067m. Indocement in Indonesia grew volumes by just 0.7 per cent as increased competitor capacity hit the market. A further 1.9Mt of grinding capacity should come on-stream later this year, to be followed by 4.4Mta of integrated capacity by 2015. The Chinese joint ventures in the Guangdong and Shaanxi provinces sold slightly less cement. Indian cement deliveries rose by 21.5 per cent thanks to the completion of 2.9Mta of additional capacity, taking the total to 6.2Mta. The ownership of Cement Australia, the Australian market leader, has been increased to 50 per cent and 1.1Mta of new grinding capacity is coming on-stream in the second half. Aggregates deliveries increased by five per cent to 18.46Mt, thanks to increased demand in Indonesia and Malaysia, and turnover improved by 4.2 per cent to €288m. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 15.3 per cent higher at 5.97Mm³ and asphalt volume grew by 18.3 per cent to 0.96Mt. 

North American turnover was just 1.1 per cent ahead at €1554m because of adverse weather, but EBITDA still improved by 15.8 per cent to €217m and the trading profit rose by 60.3 per cent to €102m. Cement deliveries were five per cent higher at 5.72Mt and the cement turnover rose by 6.4 per cent to €521m. The strongest growth was seen in southern USA, particularly in Texas and Florida. Volumes were also ahead in the west and in Canada, but declined in the north. Aggregates deliveries declined by four per cent to 45.35Mt, but the turnover was up by 0.6 per cent to €460m. Volumes were well ahead in the southern and western regions, but suffered from unfavourable weather in the Northern and Canadian regions. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 4.9 per cent lower at 2.78Mm³, but increased in western Canada, and asphalt shipments declined by 5.9 per cent to 1.03Mt. Sales of building products varied according to product, with the turnover declining by 4.4 per cent to €320m.
Turnover in Africa & the Mediterranean was up by 1.9 per cent to €568m and the EBITDA rose by 14.2 per cent to €109m. Cement and clinker shipments increased by 3.9 per cent to 4.77Mt, but turnover was just 2.6 per cent ahead at €412m. Cement sales in Africa were 4.4 per cent higher, boosted by higher demand in Ghana, Togo, Liberia and Congo. Additional grinding capacity was commissioned in Liberia this year and 2014 should see new grinding capacities commissioned in Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso as well as a 1.5Mta kiln line in Togo.  The Turkish joint venture Akçansa increased domestic deliveries by almost 20 per cent, but exports were lower, leaving overall volumes 2.8 per cent ahead. Aggregates shipments were down by 14.4 per cent to 6.15Mt, with lower volumes in Spain and Israel, but there was an increase in Turkey. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries came off by 5.7 per cent to 2.37Mm³ with most of the volume reduction occurring in Spain. Asphalt sales in Israel declined by 11.9 per cent to 0.25Mt.

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