Like-for-like, the group revenue increase amounted to 2.1% for the business year. HeidelbergCement said that lower revenue in its trading business – caused especially by the trading of fuels with third parties that has been reduced for risk considerations in Q4 2019 – contributed substantially to the revenue development being slightly below its expectations.
Cement and clinker sales volumes fell by 3.1% in 2019 to 125.9 million tonnes. Excluding consolidation effects, cement and clinker sales volumes were 1.6% below the previous year. Aggregates sales volumes were just under the previous year’s level, at 308.3 million tonnes. Excluding consolidation effects, sales volumes fell by 1.2%.
Ready-mixed concrete sales volumes were up by 3.4% in 2019 to 50.7 million cubic metres. Excluding consolidation effects, they rose by 1.1%.
HeidelbergCement commented: "The development of sales volumes resulted mainly from our strategy of focusing more on necessary price increases than on sales volumes which led to a decline in sales volumes in the fourth quarter of 2019, in particular. Sales volumes of the whole year 2019 were therefore slightly below our expectations."
The result from current operations before depreciation and amortisation rose by 15.5% to €3,580m. Like-for-like, the rise amounted to 2.5%. The result from current operations increased by 8.8% to €2,186m. Like-for-like, it rose by 4.7% which HeidelbergCement says was in line with its expectations.
The company added that net debt could be reduced again significantly in Q4 2019. It decreased to €7.1bn before application of IFRS16 by the end of 2019 and thereby fell markedly below the already downward adjusted forecast from November 2019 of €7.4bn.
The preliminary results for the fourth quarter and business year 2019 for the entire Group and the individual Group areas, will be presented as scheduled in a trading statement on 18 February 2020. The complete consolidated financial statements of HeidelbergCement including the outlook will be published on 19 March 2020.