Europe: Several European cement producers have announced financial results for the second quarter and the first half of 2011. On 28 July 2011 Lafarge, the world's largest cement producer, announced that its profit fell by 16%, in part due to higher material costs (Read full story here). Other European producers have seen a mixed bag of results for the quarter, with Ciments Français and HeidelbergCement both reporting improvements over the year. Unlike the multinationals however, Cementos Molins and Titan, which both have significant interests in markets that are currently depressed, have had bad quarters.
Ciments Français took a consolidated revenue of Euro2.04bn in the first six months of 2011, down by 1.8% on the year. The group's recurring earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down more significantly, by 12.8%, at Euro386.4m and its net profit was Euro232.2m. This compares favourably with the Euro166.9m made in the six months to 30 June 2010. The group's net debt was down by Euro218.2m to Euro1.19bn. Group sales volumes in the first six months of 2011 remained relatively stable (-0.7%) for cement and clinker at 21.9Mt. Sales volumes increased in India (+16.3%), France and Belgium (+10.8%), Thailand (+6.6%) and Morocco (+6.0%). Volumes dropped in Greece (-26.1%), Bulgaria (-25.0%) and Egypt (-14.1%). Volumes remained fairly steady in the group's other markets.
HeidelbergCement (HC) announced that its net profit grew to Euro208m in the second quarter, up by 25% on the same period of 2010. Revenue rose only slightly (3%) on the year to Euro3.4bn, burdened by negative exchange rate effects. The group's operating profit dropped by more than 10% to Euro441m, which the company attributes to rising energy costs that have not been offset by the implemented price increases. "Despite a positive development of revenue and results, we are not satisfied with the second quarter," said HC's CEO Bernd Scheifele, who added that the group's FOX 2013 fiscal savings programme had so far generated savings of some Euro134m. Its turnover for the second quarter was Euro3.39bn.
The attributable profit of the Spanish cement company Cementos Molins for the first half of 2011 went down by 57.8% year-on-year to Euro11.64m. Its turnover inched up by 0.6% to Euro400.23m. The 15% increase in the company's international operations offset a massive 24.7% fall that it registered in the domestic market. Its EBITDA amounted to Euro76.19m between January and June 2011, an annual decline of 16.2%.
Meanwhile, analysts are predicting an even worse time for Greece's Titan when it announces its results on 2 August. They expect its profit to drop by a staggering 64% amid the ongoing weakness in the Greek and US markets where Titan has a significant majority of its assets.