Buzzi Unicem's US profits grow

Buzzi Unicem's US profits grow
10 November 2014

Buzzi Unicem's turnover for the first nine months edged ahead by 0.2 per cent to EUR1898.7m while EBITDA improved by 10.8 per cent to EUR302.5m.

The trading profit was ahead by 15.1 per cent to EUR136.1m and net financial charges declined by 38 per cent to EUR50.7m. The contribution from associates increased by 22.6 per cent to EUR36.1m, and the pre-tax profit advanced by 77.3 per cent to EUR121.8m. The tax charge still rose by 63.1 per cent while the minorities charge declined by 36.4 per cent, leading to a 136.4 per cent jump in the net attributable profit to EUR51.4m.

Net debt at the end of September was 7.9 per cent lower at EUR1,010.5m giving a gearing level of 44.4 per cent compared with 46.8 per cent a year earlier. Capital investment in the period was 5.6 per cent higher at EUR125.6m. Cement deliveries were 2.1 per cent ahead at 19Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries recovered by 3.7 per cent to 9.1Mm³.

Domestic shipments down, exports hit by excess regional supply
The Italian turnover declined by a further nine per cent to EUR294.7m, while the EBITDA loss was reduced by 32.3 per cent to EUR9m. Trading in emission rights produced EUR4.6m and the sale of the Cadola works to Wietersdorfer produced a EUR6.3m gain while redundancy costs were more than doubled to EUR2.8m.  The average selling price declined by 5.8 per cent, which is to a large extent explained by a larger clinker element in the volumes sold. Shipments of cement and clinker declined by 7.6 per cent and exports were made more difficult by the excess supply across the northern Mediterranean area. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries showed a 3.3 per cent recovery, but prices were down by 6.6 per cent.

Turnover in Germany did improve by 5.1 per cent to €448.6m while the EBITDA declined by 12 per cent to EUR52.7m, but this was after restructuring and impairment costs totalling EUR3.9m. Cement deliveries were ahead by 6.6 per cent to 3.92Mt while the average price was off by 0.7 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 4.1 per cent higher and prices showed a slight improvement. Turnover in Luxembourg came off by one per cent to EUR80.7m and EBITDA was down by 8.9 per cent to EUR13m, but excluding an exceptional gain last year there was a 10.1 per cent, or EUR1.2m, increase. Cement and clinker shipments were little changed and the average price eased by 0.3 per cent. The Dutch turnover fell by 19.6 per cent to EUR42.7m, but the EBITDA loss was reduced from EUR5.6m to EUR0.7m. Dutch ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 14.1 per cent to 0.4Mm³. 
The Polish turnover declined by 14.2 per cent to €68.1m and the EBITDA fell by 23.1 per cent EUR15.5m. Cement shipments came down by 22.2 per cent as the company tried to move prices ahead, but only achieved a 1.3 per cent improvement. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries, on the other hand, showed a 9.6 per cent recovery though the average price was 2.5 per cent lower. Czech cement volume rose by 14.7 per cent while prices eased by 2.4 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete volumes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia rose by 6.5 per cent on prices that were off by 1.6 per cent. Turnover was again hit by the depreciation of the Czech currency, but did improve by 4.3 per cent to EUR100.1m and the EBITDA jumped by 61.2 per cent to EUR19.2m.

Ukrainian cement shipments rose by six per cent to 1.32Mt and the average price was ahead by 1.7 per cent in local currency. A further weakening of the local currency saw turnover fall 23.9 per cent to EUR71.9m but the EBITDA improved by 12.4 per cent to EUR11.8m.  In Russia, Suchoi Log advanced cement shipments by 2.8 per cent to some 2.4Mt. The weaker Russian currency led to a 9.2 per cent decline in turnover EUR176.2m and the EBITDA was off by 8.6 per cent to EUR64.8m and included exceptional costs of EUR4.2m. The purchase of the Korkino works from Lafarge should become effective next month.

US deliveries and pricing improves
In the United States, turnover improved by 12 per cent to EUR619m, in spite of a weaker dollar that reduced the number by EUR17.8m, and the EBITDA advanced by 30.7 per cent to EUR135.2m, thanks to improved capacity utilisation. Cement deliveries increased by 7.9 per cent and the average selling price improved by 5.9 per cent in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, volumes grew by 7.2 per cent and prices were up by 12.2 per cent. Electricity costs were 2.5 per cent lower while kiln fuel costs increased by some 2 per cent.

Mexico shipments ahead
The 50 per cent-owned Mexican associate Corporación Moctezuma generated a turnover 6.4 per cent higher at EUR376.8m and the EBITDA was 11.1 per cent ahead at EUR138.4m. Cement shipments in the nine months showed an improvement and the average price was slightly ahead in local currency, but lower in euro terms.

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Tagged Under: Europe Results Italy Buzzi Unicem