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HeidelbergCement third-quarter results

Sales volumes and turnover increase in third quarter but operating income remains stable

SALES volumes for cement, aggregates and ready-mixed concrete in the third quarter of 2011 were all above the figures for the equivalent quarter of 2010, thanks to sustained growth in Asia-Pacific and Africa, as well as improving markets in North America and Europe, according to HeidelbergCement’s quarterly results.

During the third quarter, cement sales volumes rose by 11.9% to 24.3 million tonnes (2010: 21.8 million tonnes), aggregates sales volumes increased by 4.1% to 75.9 million tonnes (73 million tonnes) and ready-mixed concrete deliveries grew by 8.9% to 10.6 million cubic metres (9.7 million cubic metres). Asphalt sales volumes during the quarter were just under 1% up at 3.1 million tonnes.

Group turnover increased by 6.6% in the third quarter of 2011 to €3,624 million (€3,401 million), while operating income fell by 1.8% to €562 million (€573 million), largely due to significant rises in energy and raw materials costs since the start of the year. Overall, profit for the third quarter decreased by 14% to €316.1 million (€367.6 million).

Commenting on the results, Dr Bernd Scheifele (pictured), chairman of the managing board, said: ‘In the third quarter we benefited from a pleasing rise in demand in our Group and were able to increase our sales volumes and turnover significantly.

‘Nevertheless, we have so far been unable to translate the volume increases into higher operating profits, as we have not yet been able to completely offset the significant rise in energy and raw material costs by corresponding price increases, particularly in the cement business line.’

Looking ahead, Dr Scheifele said development of the results would be supported by the Group’s advantageous geographical footprint and dual-product strategy focused on cement and aggregates. ‘We will maintain our focus on reducing costs and increasing efficiency within the scope of the ‘FOX 13’ programme and plan further price increases, especially for the year 2012, to counteract cost inflation,’ he commented.

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