Further published figures reveal a challenging Q3 for HeidelbergCement. Results were impacted by exceptionally high year-on-year basis, and significant energy cost inflation. Cement sales were up just 1% on a like-for-like basis at €33.9mn. Aggregates sales were worth €86.3mn compared to €86.1mn in Q3 2020. There was a 4% drop in ready-mixed concrete sales to €12.2mn. Asphalt sales were down 10% to €3.4mn.
Commenting on HeidelbergCement's January-September 2021 and Q3 2021 trading, Dr. Dominik von Achten, Chairman of the group's managing board, said: "HeidelbergCement has achieved a good result in the first nine months of 2021. The general conditions in the third quarter were very challenging due to the exceptionally high year-on-year basis in the previous year and the significant increases in energy costs in recent months. We remain optimistic for the final quarter and confirm our growth forecast for the full year 2021.
"We look forward to 2022 with confidence. The global infrastructure measures will gradually contribute to growth from next year onwards. The momentum in private residential construction also remains high. To tap further potential within the Group, and, in particular, to compensate for the significant increases in energy costs, we have launched a new business excellence programme with the aim of mitigating the cost inflation by at least €500 million by the end of 2022."
Dr. von Achten said HeidelbergCement was making good progress in implementing its 'Beyond 2020' strategy. "HeidelbergCement's capital efficiency and leverage ratio have continued to improve significantly. The disposal of assets in Spain and the acquisition of Tanga Cement in Tanzania contribute to the optimisation of our portfolio. Regarding the transformation topics of sustainability and digitalisation, we underline our leading role in our industry sector. The projects for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCU/S) are off to a great start. Only with our CCU/S projects already underway, we aim to save up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. The digitalisation of our customer interfaces is gaining momentum. We are well on track to achieve our medium and long-term targets earlier than expected."