HeidelbergCement volumes boosted by North America, UK and new capacities

HeidelbergCement volumes boosted by North America, UK and new capacities
10 February 2015

Preliminary full-year results from HeidelbergCement show improvements in sales volumes, revenue and operating income despite negative exchange rate effects, leading the company to describe 2014 as the most ‘successful year since the financial crisis.’

Despite significant exchange rate effects, the group’s revenue increased by four per cent to EUR12.6bn (+8 per cent on a like-for-like basis) and operating income improved to EUR1.6bn (+13 per cent L-F-L) supported by mild winter weather in Europe over 1Q14 and declines in energy costs over the course of the year.

“In operational terms, 2014 was by far the most successful year for HeidelbergCement since the financial crisis”, says Dr Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board. The company also pointed to the sale of its building products division and a reduction in net debt to below EUR7bn. The proceeds from the building products disposal are not yet included.

Volumes rise
Cement volumes rose by 4.7 per cent to 81.8Mt and aggregates by 5.6 per cent to 243.6Mt, which the group attributed to the continuing recovery in North America and the additional capacities that became in India, Africa, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. The ongoing economic recovery in the UK also had a positive impact, driven by private residential construction and large infrastructure projects in London.

Eastern Europe-Central Asia group area experienced varying developments. The crisis in eastern Ukraine led to volumes declining considerably in that part of the country.

The Asia-Pacific area recorded the largest negative exchange rate effect as a result of the weakness of the Indonesian rupiah and Australian dollar against the euro. In Africa, cement sales volumes declined slightly due to the sale of the business activities in Gabon but the building materials business of its joint venture  in Turkey developed positively, the group noted.

Initial 2015 outlook
For 2015, the company expects positive macroeconomic developments in the US and Britain, as well as strong demand in Africa and Asia.  It also expects that the considerable drop in oil prices and weaker euro should provide an additional tailwind. Around 80 per cent of the company’s revenue is generated in countries that import crude oil and just about 14 per cent in the euro zone.

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