France: Vicat’s sales rose by 4.6% year-on-year to Euro1.34bn in the first half of 2019 from Euro1.28bn in the same period in 2018. This was mainly due to its acquisition of Brazil’s Ciplan in late 2018. At constant scope and exchange rates its sales fell by 0.6% due to poor markets in Turkey, Switzerland, Indian and West Africa. Its earnings before interest and tax fell by 9.4% to Euro97m from Euro107m. Cement sales volumes dropped by 4.9% to 10.8Mt from 11.4Mt and concrete volumes decreased by 6.7% to 4.3Mm3 from 4.57Mm3.
“In the first half of 2019, solid performances in France, Asia and the US drove an increase in our sales and earnings before interest, taxation, deprecation and amortisation (EBITDA). These results reflect a marked improvement in the operational profitability given the on-going increase in consumed energy costs, the deteriorating macroeconomic situation in Turkey and the exceptional rainfalls in California that we experienced in the first half,” said Guy Sidos, the group’s chief executive officer (CEO).
By region, the group’s sales and earnings rose in France but fell in the rest of Europe. Sales grew in the Americas region, even without the Ciplan acquisition, but earnings fell due to a Euro10.6mn settlement payment booked in the US in the first half of 2018. The group’s sales fell in India but earnings rose due to price increases. Poor markets in Turkey and Egypt hit sales and caused a loss.