HeidelbergCement increases revenue in first quarter
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
HeidelbergCement’s group revenue improved by 8% to €2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2012, and the outlook for 2012 is positive.
The company says it expects sustained growth in Asia-Pacific and Africa-Mediterranean Basin; continuing recovery in North America and parts of Europe, and an increase in revenue and operating income.
During the quarter operating income before depreciation (OIBD) decreased by 16% to €214 million against a background of increased costs of energy, freight, and maintenance (timing).
The loss before tax from continuing operations adds up to €144 million (previous year €87 million), but net debt was reduced by €248 million compared to previous year.
The company recorded an increase in sales volumes in cement (+5%) and aggregates (+1%) despite a cold wave in Europe; strong growth in North America (economic recovery and mild winter (and continued positive development in Asia, especially in Indonesia.
Deliveries of aggregates across the group amounted to 47 million tonnes (previous year 46.3 million tonnes), an increase of 1.5%. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 3.2% to 8.1 million m³ (previous year: 8.4 million m³). Asphalt sales volumes fell by 13.7% to 1.4 million tonnes (previous year: 1.6million tonnes).
“The increase in revenue and sales volumes in the first quarter despite the extreme cold wave in Europe is further proof of the advantageous geographical positioning of our company,” explains Dr Bernd Scheifele, CEO of HeidelbergCement.
“In view of the higher costs of energy and raw materials, we launched price increases and in some markets we were already able to execute them in order to improve our operating margins.
“The development of demand in the first quarter confirmed our outlook for the 2012 financial year.
“In view of the still quite high energy costs, we will unabatedly continue our efforts to reduce costs and improve efficiency under the FOX 2013 programme and increase prices in our markets in a consequent way.
“Deleveraging remains the highest priority for us, in order to regain our investment grade rating. We will also continue our successful strategy of targeted investments to expand cement capacities in the growth markets of Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.
“Thanks to our advantageous geographical positioning in attractive markets, in both emerging and industrialised countries, HeidelbergCement is excellently positioned to benefit over-proportionally from the continued economic growth.”