The Board of Directors of Buzzi Unicem SpA met on 10 February 2016 to examine the preliminary figures for the financial year 2015.
Cement sales of the group totaled 25.6 million tons, +1.7 % compared to 2014. Ready-mix concrete output, equal to 11.9 million cubic meters, was slightly lower than the previous year (-0.9 %). Consolidated net sales increased by 6.2 %, from € 2506 to € 2662 million. Thanks to the strengthening of the dollar, which was partly offset by the devaluation of the Russian ruble and the Ukrainian hryvnia, foreign exchange fluctuations had a favorable impact of € 101 million. Changes in scope were favorable for € 29 million. Therefore like-for-like net sales would have increased by 1.0 %.
Net debt as at 31 December 2015 amounted to € 1030 million, down € 33 million on € 063 million at year-end 2014. The improvement of the net financial position was achieved thanks to cash flow from operations, although the project for the expansion of the Maryneal, TX cement plant required a capital outlay of € 163 million during the year.
Hydraulic binders and clinker volumes decreased by 2.3 %, with an improvement in exports which has partly mitigated the domestic market decline. Selling prices posted a decrease of 3.7 %, a slight recovery on the minimum which was achieved in summer. In the ready-mix concrete sector the sales trend was similar to the previous period (+1.2 %) with stable prices (+0.2 %). Overall consolidated net sales in Italy came in at €381 million, down 2.7 % vs. 2014.
The deliveries of hydraulic binders, although recovering at the end of the year, were penalized above all by the weaker oil-well cement demand; they closed with a decrease of 2.8 %, with prices slightly down (-1.1%). Output volumes in the ready-mix concrete sector recorded a more marked reduction (-5.1%) with prices down (-1.3%). Overall net sales decreased from € 603 million in 2014 to € 574 million in 2015 (-4.9 %).
In Luxembourg cement and clinker volumes sold, inclusive of internal sales, were affected by lower export and, thanks to some recovery during the last quarter, they contracted by 1.8 % with stable average prices. In the ready-mix concrete sector output was considerably up (+16.3 %), in a weak price environment. Overall net sales came in at € 105 million vs. € 106 million in the previous year (-1.1 %).
In the Netherlands the signs of recovery in economic activity which appeared in 2014 strengthened during 2015. The ready-mix concrete sales increased clearly, while prices confirmed the levels of the previous year. Net sales revenue, also including the aggregates business, came in at € 65 million, up from € 58 million in 2014 (+11.4 %).
Cement volumes sold reported a 21.1 % increase, however against a lower price level in local currency (-11.7 %). Ready-mix concrete output also achieved a growing trend (+9.8 %) in a scenario of always competitive prices (-3.1 %). Net sales increased from € 89 to € 97 million (+8.7 %), without exchange rate effect, thanks to the stability of the zloty.
In the Czech Republic the cement sales were in line with the good levels achieved in 2014 (+0.9 %) with stable average prices in local currency (+0.1 %). The ready-mix concrete sector, which also includes Slovakia, showed signs of improvement, with volumes up 3.0 % and prices recovering (+2.1 %). Consolidated net sales revenue increased from € 134 to € 136 million (+1.5 %). The strengthening of the local currency positively impacted net sales by € 1 million.
Despite the difficult situation in the Ukraine, the business operations of Buzzi Unicem had a quite regular trend; cement volumes sold were in line with the previous year (+0.6 %) in a scenario of prices in local currency pushed upwards by the galloping inflation (+19.5 %). Net sales thus stood at € 70 million vs. € 88 million in 2014 (-20.8 %). The translation of turnover into euro was penalized by the depreciation of the local currency (-€ 37 million).
In Russia, the sales volumes of Buzzi Unicem, which benefited from the Korkino cement plant entering the scope of consolidation, were up 8.4 % on 2014; like-for-like the volumes sold would have decreased by 14.3 %. The category of oil well cements, used in the extraction industry, continued to show good resilience. Average prices in local currency did not change significantly (-1.0 %); it should be remembered, though, that the average price of the products delivered by the Korkino cement plant is lower compared to the mix of the Suchoi Log plant. Net sales revenue stood at € 167 million from € 210 million in the previous year (-20.6 %). The weakness of the ruble had a negative impact on net sales of € 46 million; like-for-like net sales would have decreased by 12.5 %.
United States of America
The hydraulic binder sales rose by 2.4 % thanks to the good performance in the Midwestern regions and despite a sharp contraction in oil well products deliveries. Ready-mix concrete output, mainly located in the south-west, decreased from last year (-5.2 %). Selling prices trend dynamics in local currency was favorable, thus causing a +7.7 % increase in the cement sector and a +9.7 % rise in the ready-mix concrete sector. Overall net sales stood at € 1109 million, up 29.5 v% from € 856 million in the previous year. They were strongly favored by the strengthening of the dollar, with a contribution of € 183 million.
Mexico (valued by the equity method)
Cement volumes of the associate Corporación Moctezuma were brilliant for the whole of 2015, with average prices in local currency improving from last year. Ready-mix concrete output showed a similar trend. With reference to 100 % of the associate, net sales stood at € 626 million (+19.9 %). The Mexican peso maintained its value during the year: at a constant exchange rate net sales would have increased by 19.7 %.