Holcim's turnover brought lower by exchange rates

Holcim's turnover brought lower by exchange rates
30 July 2014

Holcim's cement deliveries improved by two per cent to 70Mt in the first six months, and the underlying advance was 2.8 per cent. Sales of other mineral components recovered by 7.6 per cent to 1.8Mt. Shipments of aggregates edged ahead by 0.2 per cent to 69.6Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by three per cent to 18.1Mm³, while asphalt sales rose by 21.8 per cent to 4.1Mt.

Turnover declined by 6.1 per cent to CHF9,649m, or by 5.4 per cent in euro terms to EUR7,419m, while on a comparative basis there was a 4.8 per cent increase. Running EBITDA was 10.6 per cent lower at CHF1627m (EUR13320m -10 per cent). The trading profit eased by eight per cent to CHF962m (EUR788m), while the net attributable profit was fell by 14.9 per cent to CHF485m (EUR397m).

Net debt at the end of June was 3.1 per cent lower than a year earlier at CHF10,620m (EUR8,695m) to give a gearing of 56.1 per cent, compared with 57.1 per cent a year earlier.

Capital investment in the six months declined by 52.7 per cent to CHF753 (EUR617m), having virtually trebled at this stage last year, with maintenance capital expenditure amounting to CHF209m (EUR171m). For the full year, capital expenditure in the existing business is expected to amount to around CHF1900m.    

The Asia-Pacific area turnover declined by 11.4 per cent to CHF3488m (EUR2856m), or 37.2 per cent of the group total and EBITDA fell by 18 per cent to CHF677m (EUR554m). Cement deliveries did advance by 1.8 per cent to 37.1Mt, with an underlying improvement of 3.6 per cent and a 2.9 per cent advance in Asia. The strongest volume improvements were seen in the Philippines (+10.6 per cent), Bangladesh (+4.0) and Australia (+3.8 per cent), but declined in Sri Lanka (-4.2 per cent) and Vietnam (-1.2 per cent). Prices advanced by 15.2 per cent in Malaysia, but eased in Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. In India, by far the largest market, volumes recovered by 2.5 per cent and prices by 2.6 per cent as volumes improved by 2.3 per cent at ACC and by 4.5 per cent at Ambuja Cement. Aggregates shipments improved by 2.7 per cent to 12.5Mt while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were ahead by a modest 0.4 per cent to 5.2Mm³, as there was a 7.1 per cent decline in Asia.

In the European region, turnover improved by 4.0 per cent to CHF2,717m (EUR2,225m) and the EBITDA advanced by 16 per cent to CHF408m (EUR334m). Cement shipments recovered by 4.8 per cent to 12.7Mt and the aggregates tonnage by one per cent to 34.7Mt, while ready-mixed concrete rose by 4.6 per cent to 5.9Mm³ and asphalt sales by 19.6 per cent to 2.7Mt.

Domestic cement benefited from a milder winter and advanced by in 25.1 per cent in Russia, by 21.8 per cent in France, by 18.1 per cent in Belgium and by 15 per cent in Hungary and also showed double-digit increases in the Czech Republic, Germany and Bulgaria. Lower volumes were seen in Azerbaijan (-20.9), Italy (-12.6 per cent) and Serbia (-7.9 per cent). Average prices fell by 10.6 per cent in Spain and were down by six per cent in Belgium and Switzerland, by 5.3 per cent in Italy, by 3.9 per cent in Russia and by 3.8 per cent in France, while modest increases were seen in Croatia, Hungary and Serbia.

In aggregates volumes rose by 1.9 per cent overall to 34.7Mt with increases of 27.1 per cent in Germany and 5.7 per cent in Great Britain, but there was an 18.9 per cent drop in Romania. Aggregates prices weakened in Spain and Belgium but rose strongly in Rumania and Italy in spite of falling volumes. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 6.1 per cent to 5.7m m³. 

Latin America
Latin American turnover declined by 14.7 per cent to CHF1,465m (EUR1200m) and the EBITDA fell by 18.0 per cent to CHF410m (EUR336m). Cement deliveries eased by 1.6 per cent to 12.1Mt, but the aggregates volume dropped by a further 26.5 per cent to 4Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 21.7 per cent to 3.3Mm³. Cement volumes increased in Brazil and Costa Rica by +5.1 per cent and +4.9 per cent respectively, but elsewhere they were stable or lower and prices in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico. Aggregates deliveries fell by 45.1 per cent in Mexico and by 6.5 per cent in Brazil, with Mexican prices did improve by 2.3.In Argentina, volumes fell in all product lines, though private housebuilding did increase, and cement deliveries were 5.1 per cent lower.

North America
Holcim's North American turnover improved by 1.7 per cent to CHF1,280m (EUR1,048m), though there was a 10.6 per cent improvement in dollar terms, and the EBITDA advanced by 23.0 per cent to CHF155m (EUR127m).

Cement deliveries increased by 7.5 per cent to 5.4Mt, but the growth in the USA was somewhat reduced by the weakness in Québec and Ontario and while the US volumes grew by 8.4 per cent the Canadian advance was only 2.5 per cent, while prices improved by 4.6 per cent in the USA but were only 0.5 per cent ahead in Canada.

North American aggregates volumes recovered by 6.6 per cent to 17.4Mt in a less kind winter. Canadian volumes improved by 1.1 per cent and the average price by 1.6 per cent. The US aggregates volume rose by 9.7 per cent and the average price improved by 5.2 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 3.4 per cent lower at 3.2m m³ but asphalt volumes rose by 26.1 per cent to 1.4Mt.

Africa and the Middle East
In Africa and the Middle East, turnover eased by 1.5 per cent to CHF438m (EUR359m) and the EBITDA came off by 5.1 per cent to CHF136m (EUR111m). Cement shipments improved by 9.8 per cent to 4.3Mt but sales of aggregates declined by 12.1 per cent to 1.0Mt, but deliveries of ready-mixed concrete advanced by 11.1 per cent to 0.4m m³. Morocco is the most important market in the division and here cement volumes recovered and were further boosted by clinker sales to the Ivory Coast. Cement sales in the Lebanon improved in spite of political uncertainties, but concrete prices were under pressure.

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