Holcim increases shipments in the USA, Africa and Asia

Holcim increases shipments in the USA, Africa and Asia
03 November 2014

Holcim’s turnover for the first nine months declined by 4.7 per cent to CHF14,243m, while in euro terms the reduction was 3.6 per cent to €12,136m and in US dollar terms the decline was just 0.9 per cent, while on a like for like basis there was a 3.4 per cent increase.

The Asia Pacific region generated 36.6 per cent of group turnover, down from 37.5 per cent a year earlier, while Europe represented 29.9 per cent, up from 28.4 per cent. Latin America contributed 15.7 per cent against 17.1 per cent, North America 16.7 per cent against 15.7 per cent and Africa / Middle East 4.6 per cent.

Margins were marginally ahead and the operating EBITDA came off by 7.1 per cent to CHF2740m (€2250m) in Swiss franc terms, and by 6.1 per cent by when measured in euros and off by 3.4 per cent in US dollar terms. The contributions from the associates and joint ventures, the largest associate being in China, rose by some 24 per cent to some CHF124m. The trading profit decreased by 4.4 per cent to CHF1719m (€1,798m) and the net attributable profit fell by 10.3 per cent to CHF933m (€766m).

Net debt at the end of September was 1.3 per cent higher at CHF10,412m (€8,628m), giving a gearing level of 52.3 per cent compared with 54.9 per cent a year earlier. Capital investment during the nine months was declined by 10.4 per cent to CHF1,149m (€943m), with maintenance capital expenditure being 2.1 per cent lower at CHF365m (€300m) and expansion investments declining by 13.8 per cent to CHF784m (€644m). There was no net spending on acquisitions.

Cement shipments higher
Group cement capacity stands at 208.4Mt, which is 1.1 per cent higher than a year ago. Cement shipments were 1.6 per cent higher at 105.9Mt, which represents an underlying 2.1 per cent increase. Sales of other binders jumped by 21.1 per cent, or by 25.5 per cent on an underlying basis, to 3.2Mt. Shipments of aggregates were one per cent lower at 113.7Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 5.7 per cent to 27.8m m³ but the asphalt volume rose by 16.3 per cent to 7.4Mt.

Asia Pacific
Turnover in the Asia Pacific region declined by 7.1 per cent to CHF5206m (€4274m) as exchange rates were less favourable and there was an underlying increase of 4.2 per cent, while the EBITDA fell by 12.1 per cent to CHF994m (€816m).

Cement deliveries in Asia were 2.6 per cent ahead at 51.8Mt while deliveries of aggregates were 1.4 per cent higher at 1.7Mt but ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 6.4 per cent lower at 4.2Mm³. The two Indian subsidiaries between them sold 34.9Mt of cement and clinker, a 1.9 per cent increase, which is 65 per cent of the Asian total.

Cement shipments in the Philippines rose by 13 per cent while the price was one per cent ahead. In both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh cement prices declined by around 2.7 per cent, but prices improved by 1.6 per cent and by 6.9 per cent respectively. In Indonesia, prices rose by 3.5 per cent as domestic deliveries improved by 4.3 per cent and downstream volumes also increased. Cement were just 0.2 per cent ahead in Vietnam and declined by four per cent in Malaysia, with volumes improving by 1.3 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively.

Sales of aggregates improved by 1.4 per cent to 1.7Mt but ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 6.4 per cent to 4.2m m³. In Australia and New Zealand, cement reached 2Mt as underlying volumes rose by 3.2 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively, though prices weakened somewhat. Sales of aggregates eased by 1.2 per cent to 17Mt but ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 7.3 per cent to 3.8Mm3.

European turnover edged ahead by 0.2 per cent to CHF4252m (€3491m) while EBITDA improved by 4.9 per cent to CHF727m (€597m), or an underlying 6.8 per cent.

Cement deliveries were unchanged at 20.2Mt while shipments of aggregates declined by two per cent to 54.0Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries edged up by 0.2 per cent to 9Mm³ and asphalt shipments rose by 17.3 per cent to 4.2Mt.

Cement volumes grew strongest in Russia (+15 per cent) and in Belgium (+13.8 per cent). Good improvements were also seen in Bulgaria (+5.7 per cent),  Republic (+5.3 per cent), Spain (+4.,6 per cent and Romania (+4.3 per cent), Declines were noted in Azerbaijan (-22.3 per cent), Italy (-18.2 per cent),  Slovakia (-11.7 per cent) and Croatia (-9.2 per cent).

Prices were modestly ahead in Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia, but declined elsewhere, most notably in Spain (-10.4 per cent).

Aggregates volumes rose by 10.8 per cent in Germany but declined by 13.5 per cent in Romania, by 11.8 per cent in France and by 9.6 per cent in Italy with prices rising by 17.7 per cent in Romania and by 15 per cent in Italy.

Latin America
In Latin America, the turnover declined by 12.3 per cent, largely exchange-rate related, to CHF2243m (€1842m), and  EBITDA fell by 14.5 per cent to CHF629m (€516m).

Cement shipments were 1.4 per cent lower at 18.4Mt and aggregates deliveries dropped by 25.1 per cent to 6Mt and ready-mixed concrete volumes declined by 21.9 per cent to 4.9Mm³.

Holcim Apasco in Mexico saw cement deliveries recover by 2.1 per cent and prices by one per cent while aggregates volumes fell by a further 46 per cent, reflecting disposals, though the average price was little changed. Holcim Brazil saw volumes improve by 3.6 per cent in cement though the price came off by 4.4 per cent and aggregates shipments declined by 11.7 per cent. Holcim Colombia’s cement shipments improved by 4.2 per cent but the price declined by 4.1 per cent.

Argentina did worse as the debt crisis affected construction activity and Cemento Polpaico also suffered from reduced activity across all product ranges performed well, but these numbers have yet to be published, a delay that also applies to Chile, which also performed well. Elsewhere, volumes were ahead with the exception of El Salvador (-5.7 per cent) and Ecuador (-5.0 per cent).

North America
The North American turnover showed a 1.5 per cent improvement to CHF2,378m (€1,952m), while the EBITDA advanced by a further 15.3 per cent to CHF427m (€351m) and the trading profit by 47 per cent to CHF215m (€176m). Cement shipments were 10.2 per cent higher at 9.6Mt thanks to good levels of demand in the regions served by the group’s cement operations. Cement and clinker volumes in the USA rose by 12.3 per cent and the cement price improved by 4.7 per cent. In Canada, volumes were just 0.7 per cent ahead and the average price declined by 1.7 per cent.

Aggregates deliveries improved by 7.5 per cent to 33.4Mt with shipments rising by 6.3 per cent in Canada and by 8.2 per cent in the United States. Ready-mixed concrete volumes declined by 4.1 per cent to 5.4Mm³, though this masks an underlying 2.5 per cent improvement, and sales of asphalt rose by 15 per cent to 3.2Mt. 

Africa and the Middle East
Turnover in Africa and the Middle East eased by 1.6 per cent to CHF655m (€538m) and the EBITDA was off by 1.4 per cent to CHF212m (€174m).

Cement deliveries increased by 7.5 per cent to 6.4Mt. In Morocco domestic deliveries were stable and there was a notable increase in clinker exports to the Ivory Coast. Cement shipments were down in Guinea, but volumes were ahead in Madagascar and la Réunion. Holcim Lebanon increased cement shipments in spite of the unstable environment. Aggregates

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