Germany: HeidelbergCement’s revenue from its cement business fell by 2.5% year-on-year to Euro4.16bn in the first half of 2018 from Euro4.27bn in the same period in 2017. Despite this, its cement sales volumes grew by 3% to 61.9Mt from 60.1Mt due to growth in its Asia-Pacific and Africa-Eastern Mediterranean Basin, Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia areas. Across all business lines its sales revenue rose slightly to Euro8.43bn from Euro8.39bn although the group said it rose by 6% on a like-for-like basis. Its profit increased by 20.2% to Euro435m from Euro362m.
“The growth of revenue and sales volumes in all business lines reflects the strong market dynamics. All in all, we could significantly improve the profit also in the second quarter. The strong operational development, lower restructuring charges and a further reduction in financing costs more than compensated for the increasing cost inflation and negative exchange rate effects,” said Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the managing board. He added that a ‘solid’ development of results in the second quarter indicated a positive trend reversal after a weather-related difficult start of the year.
By region, in Western and Southern Europe the group’s cement and clinker sales volumes rose by 5.3% to 15.1Mt due to the acquisition of Cementir in Italy and the good development of sales volumes in Spain. In its Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia area, sales volumes fell by 4% to 11.5Mt due to bad weather. In North America its sales volumes decreased by 2.3% to 7.4Mt due to bad weather and the sale of its white cement business. In Asia-Pacific sales volumes rose by 5.4% to 17.5Mt with growth noted in Indonesia. Finally, in the group’s Africa-Eastern Mediterranean Basin area sales volumes grew by 6.4% to 9.9Mt driven by markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.