Buzzi Unicem: strong growth in America

Buzzi Unicem: strong growth in America
05 August 2015

Buzzi Unicem's first-half turnover improved by 4.9 per cent to EUR1238.2m and  EBITDA rose by 20.3 per cent to EUR166.6m. The depreciation and impairment charges came down by 22.4 per cent to EUR96.5m as the writing off goodwill in Ukraine was not repeated.

The first half trading profit recovered further from EUR14.1m to EUR70.1m, but the interest charge rose by 10.3 per cent to EUR51.8m and the pretax loss of EUR11.1m a year ago was turned into a profit of EUR54.1m. After a tax charge 82.5 per cent higher at EUR17.7m and a minorities charge 15.5 per cent lower at EUR1.5m, there was a net attributable profit of EUR34.9m.

Net debt at the end of June was 5.8 per cent higher at EUR1,119.7m, giving a gearing level of 44.3 per cent, compared with a restated 45.5 per cent a year earlier. Capital expenditure in the period amounted to EUR152.9m, to a large extent related to the erection of a new production line at Maryneal in Texas. For the full year Buzzi Unicem is forecasting EBITDA in the region of EUR450m.

Group deliveries by region

Group cement deliveries improved by 1.6 per cent to 11.8Mt. The group ready-mixed concrete deliveries, however, declined by 3.8 per cent to 5.6Mm³.

Italian cement and clinker volumes were 0.5 per cent higher with lower domestic cement deliveries being offset by higher exports of cement and clinker. The average sales price declined by a further 9.1 per cent as a result of intense competitive pressure. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries showed a further 5.3 per cent volume recovery, but prices eased by 1.1 per cent.

Buzzi Unicem's Italian turnover declined by 2.5 per cent to EUR188.8m and the loss at the EBITDA level increased from EUR9.7m to EUR15.1m. However, net of non-recurring items the loss was EUR10.8m.

Rest of Europe
In Germany, turnover declined by 9.1 per cent to EUR269.4m while the EBITDA improved by 2.7 per cent to EUR24.1m, but net of non-recurring items there was a 14.1 per cent reduction. Cement shipments were 5.1 per cent lower to 2.36Mt while prices improved by a marginal 0.2 per cent and lower sales of oil-well cement was a contributory factor. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 10.9 per cent and prices by 1.1 per cent.

Luxembourg cement and clinker volumes declined by 6.3 per cent and the average price eased by 1.6 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 20.7 per cent, but prices were lower. The turnover declined by 6.7 per cent to EUR51.7m while the EBITDA came off by EUR1.9m to EUR5.9m. The Dutch turnover showed a 10.4 per cent recovery to EUR31.8m and the EBITDA loss was further reduced from EUR0.6m to EUR0.2m while volumes in ready-mixed concrete rose from 0.29Mm³ to 0.34Mm³, but prices came off by a 2.5 per cent.

The Polish turnover improved by 10.4 per cent to EUR48.2m and the EBITDA rose by 19.7 per cent to EUR10.0m. Cement volumes staged a 22.3 per cent recovery, but prices declined by 12.6 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries eased by 0.8 per cent, but prices improved by 0.9 per cent. The Czech and Slovak turnover was off by 2.0 per cent to EUR60.1m and the EBITDA rose by from EUR9.1m to EUR12.4m. Cement volumes advanced by 0.8 per cent but the average price eased by 1.4 per cent in local currency, while ready-mixed concrete volumes eased by two per cent but prices improved by 4.1 per cent.

Ukrainian turnover suffered further from the drop in the value of the currency and fell by 32.5 per cent to EUR29.2m and the EBITDA dropped from EUR5.4m to EUR1.5m. Cement volumes declined by 4.4 per cent and local prices rose, reflecting the high inflation rate.

In Russia, which now includes the Korkino cement works, cement shipments increased by 10.6 per cent, but without the addition of Korkino, there would have been a 13.7 per cent reduction. Cement prices in local currency eased by 0.3 per cent. Turnover declined by 18.7 per cent to EUR83.4m and the EBITDA fell by 34.4 per cent to EUR23.2m as a result of a further 34.7 per cent drop in the value of the rouble.

In the United States, turnover improved by nine per cent to US$551.2m, which on translation converts into a 33.9 per cent increase to EUR494m. At the EBITDA level, there was a 43.9 per cent increase to US$117m, which on conversion turns into a 76.8 per cent advance to EUR104.8m.

In spite of exceptionally heavy rain falls from March to May in the south-west and a drop in the sales of oil-well cement, sales volumes still managed to advance by 2.8 per cent and average selling prices in local currency increased by 8.5 per cent. The expansion and modernisation of the Maryneal cement works in Texas should be completed during the early part of 2016.

Ready-mixed concrete deliveries, which are heavily biased towards Texas declined by 6.9 per cent, but prices have advanced by 12.0 per cent. 

The 50 per cent-controlled Mexican associate Corporaciòn Moctezuma, which is accounted for by the equity method, reported an increase in turnover of 23.7 per cent in local currency, giving a 31.7 per cent advance to EUR320.7m, with the EBITDA advancing by 34.2 per cent which translates into a 42.9 per cent rise to EUR131.4m. Cement volumes have continued their positive trend and ready-mixed concrete deliveries are also ahead, helped by developments under way in Mexico City.

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Tagged Under: Buzzi Unicem Results Italy