Buzzi Unicem's cement volumes rise 4.3% in FY18

Buzzi Unicem's cement volumes rise 4.3% in FY18
08 February 2019

Buzzi Unicem's financial year 2018 results saw cement volumes at 27.9Mt, up 4.3 per cent from 26.8Mt in FY17. Ready-mix concrete volumes reached 11.8Mm3 , down 3.6 per cent from 12.3Mm3 in FY17.

Consolidated net sales equalled EUR2873m (EUR2806m in 2017), up 2.4 per cent  and up 3.2 per cent like-for-like. Group net debt at the end of 2018 amounts to EUR891m, up EUR28m compared to EUR863m at the end of 2017.

Buzzi Unicem's sales of hydraulic binders and clinker were up 13.3 per cent, mainly thanks to the additional contribution of the shipments referred to the former Cementizillo plants (full consolidation starting from the second 2H17), to the growth in volumes exported overseas and to clinker sales. Average prices, in a more stable market context, confirmed the upward adjustment expectations.

The ready-mix concrete sector recorded a visibly-lower production level, essentially due to the recent restructuring and production rationalisation process that led to a reduction in the number of batching plants being managed directly. On the other hand, ready-mix selling prices improved. Overall consolidated net sales of Italian operations amounted to EUR460m, up 7.5 per cent compared to 2017. Like-for-like they would have been down 0.9 per cent.

Central Europe
Group deliveries of hydraulic binders, after the acquisition of Seibel & Söhne – whose business has been consolidated since May, and favoured by a demand for oil well cements, recorded positive volume and average prices growth.

Ready-mix concrete output, which was rather weak in the first half, closed the period marginally down but with prices improving. Overall net sales thus increased from EUR588m in 2017 to EUR633m in 2018 (+7.6 per cent). On a like-for-like basis, they would have been up 4.7 per cent.

In Luxembourg and The Netherlands cement and clinker volumes sold, inclusive of internal sales and exports, maintained also in the second half a lower delivery trend compared to 2017. On the other hand, the ready-mix concrete sector recorded recovering volumes (+11.1 per cent) and prices improved as well. Overall net sales amounted to EUR197m, compared to EUR187m in the previous year (+5.5 per cent).

Eastern Europe
Cement volumes sold by the group, thanks to the more buoyant development during the second half, posted a robust recovery (+6.5 per cent), coupled with average prices, in local currency, on the rise. Ready-mix concrete production achieved even more considerable progress (+11 per cent), with prices also improving. Net sales increased from EUR97m to EUR111m (+14.8 per cent).

After a less brilliant start to the year in Czech Republic cement sales subsequently accelerated, closing the year with robust growth (+9.6 per cent). The ready-mix concrete sector, which also includes Slovak operations, achieved favourable production levels (+5.6 per cent), with average prices moving upward. Consolidated net sales therefore came in at EUR165m(+11.2 per cent).

In Ukraine cement volumes closed with a double-digit reduction (-11.8 per cent) compared to the levels achieved in the last year. On the other hand, ready-mix concrete output rose, along with average prices. Net sales amounted to EUR88m, compared to EUR95m in 2017 (-6.6 per cent).

Meanwhile, in Russia sales volumes, thanks to a stronger development in the second half of the year, closed up +5.4 per cent and with average prices in local currency increasing. Net sales amounted to EUR186m, compared to EUR184m in the previous year (+0.6 per cent).

The group's cement sales in the course of 2018 were significantly affected by particularly adverse weather. Therefore, the entire year ended with volumes lower than the previous year. Ready-mix concrete output, mainly present in Texas, closed marginally up (+0.3 per cent) compared to the previous year, with prices recovering as well. Overall net sales stood at EUR1070m (-3.7 per cent).

Cement sales of the associate Corporación Moctezuma recovered in the second part of the year thanks to a more serene economic and social context. The entire financial year closed with volumes lower than the previous year and selling prices, in local currency, increasing by a few percentage points. Ready-mix concrete output achieved visibly weaker levels, but with prices in local currency strongly progressing. With reference to 100 per cent of the associate, net sales are estimated at slightly above EUR620m and therefore stable with the previous year.

Published under Cement News