Buzzi Unicem reports strong 1H EBITDA

Buzzi Unicem reports strong 1H EBITDA
05 August 2019

Buzzi Unicem's first-half turnover improved by 13.6 per cent to EUR1518.7m and EBITDA rose by 26.9 per cent to EUR288.6m. Group cement deliveries improved by 7.1 per cent to 13.9Mt, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries eased by 0.5 per cent to 5.8Mm³.

The first-half results include a EUR12.3m non-recurring benefit arising from the first time adoption of IFRS 16. The depreciation and impairment charges increased by 18.3 per cent to EUR123m and the 1H trading profit advanced by 34.1 per cent to EUR165.6m. The interest charge rose from EUR4.4m to EUR29m and the pretax profit advanced by 7.2 per cent to EUR170.8m. After a tax just 0.8 per cent ahead at EUR36.1m, the net attributable profit improved by 9.5 per cent to EUR134.7m. Net debt at the end of June was EUR819m, giving a gearing level of 24.2 per cent, compared with 29.8 per cent a year earlier. 

Italian cement and clinker volumes were 3.9 per cent higher and selling prices improved. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were stable and prices recovered Buzzi Unicem's Italian turnover improved by 11.2 per cent to EUR253.4m and the loss at the EBITDA level reverted to positive territory to produce a profit of EUR32.1m against a loss of EUR8.9m. A total of EUR80.0m was spent on the 1 July to acquire one cement works, two grinding centres and three batching plants. 

In Germany turnover improved by 12.3 per cent to EUR322.4m, and EBITDA rose by 69 per cent to EUR42.1m. Cement sales were ahead by 11.2 per cent and average prices showed a modest improvement. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were slightly higher and prices recovered. Luxembourg and Dutch cement and clinker volumes declined by 4.6 per cent and prices showed a slight improvement. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 2.6. per cent higher and prices showed some recovery. The turnover improved by EUR0.2m to EUR96.7m while EBITDA improved by 12.5 per cent to EUR9.0m. 

The Polish turnover increased by a further 16.2 per cent to EUR58.2m, but EBITDA declined from EUR15.4m to EUR12.5m. Cement volumes advanced by 6.3 per cent and prices improved in local currency. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries, however, fell by 8.9 per cent, while prices strengthened. The Czech and Slovak turnover eased by 1.1 per cent to EUR74.9m and EBITDA decreased by EUR1.6m to EUR17.7m. Cement volumes eased by 1.5 per cent, but the average price showed little change in local currency. Ready-mixed concrete volumes came back by 12.14 per cent though prices improved somewhat. 

The Ukrainian turnover rose by 48.9 per cent to EUR52.9m and EBITDA recovered from EUR1.6m to EUR7.1m. Cement volumes rose by 26.4 per cent and local prices increased reflecting inflation. In the Russian operations, cement shipments advanced by 15 per cent, helped by a recovery in demand for oil well cement. Cement prices in local currency were ahead, helped by an improved product mix. Turnover rose by 21.8 per cent to EUR100.6m, while EBITDA advanced from EUR19.6m to EUR24.6m.

In the USA turnover improved by eight per cent to US$652m, which on translation converts into a 15.7 per cent advance to EUR577.1m. At the EBITDA level, there was a 6.6 per cent reduction to US$161.6m, which on conversion turns into an unchanged EUR143m. Sales volumes were up by 3.4 per cent overall with prices ahead. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries, which are heavily biased towards Texas, showed an increase of 13.5 per cent and selling prices bring slightly better.   

The 50 per cent-controlled Mexican associate Corporación Moctezuma, which is accounted for by the equity method, reported an 9.6 per cent decline in turnover to EUR303.7m, with EBITDA being 13.5 per cent lower at EUR132.6m. Cement volumes declined by 8.6 per cent and prices weakened in local currency. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were fairly weak, but prices in local currency were favourable.

The recently-acquired Brazilian associate Cimento Nacional (50 per cent) saw cement shipments rise by 6.2 per cent. The turnover was EUR65.5m, with EBITDA reaching EUR7.5m.

Published under Cement News