HeidelbergCement first quarter sales volumes were boosted by market recovery in North America and the United Kingdom.
Group revenue rose considerably in the first quarter of 2015 by 12.4% to ?2,835 million (previous year: 2,522). Excluding consolidation and currency effects, the increase amounted to 3.6%.
This primarily reflects the positive development of sales volumes in the aggregates and ready-mixed concrete-asphalt business lines, and the successfully implemented price increases in major markets. While the positive effects from changes in the consolidation scope to the amount of €6 million were negligible, the weakening of the euro against numerous currencies amounting to €210 million had a positive impact on the development of revenue.
The continued recovery of the construction industry in North America and the United Kingdom contributed to an overall positive development of sales volumes in the first quarter.
Sales volumes in the North America Group area increased in all business lines. The development in cement and aggregates in the North Region and California was particularly positive.
In Europe, sales volumes remained approximately at the level of the same quarter of the previous year, which was very strong due to favourable weather conditions. While the previous year’s figures for cement were not fully reached, sales volumes in aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, and asphalt increased partly significantly.
The markets in Asia and Africa also developed positively overall. A decline in cement deliveries in Indonesia, due, among other things, to heavy rainfalls, was more than offset by double-digit growth in Africa and increased deliveries in other Asian countries.
The Group’s cement and clinker sales volumes fell slightly by 0.8% to 16.8 million tonnes (previous year: 17.0). Deliveries of aggregates amounted to 46.3 million tonnes (previous year: 44.3), an increase of 4.4%.
Ready-mixed concrete deliveries rose by 1.9% to 7.9 million cubic metres (previous year: 7.7). Asphalt sales volumes grew by 2.6% to 1.6 million tonnes (previous year: 1.5).
- Group revenue up by 12% to €2.8 billion (previous year: 2.5; like-for-like: +4%)
- Operating income before depreciation improved by 46% to ?299 million (previous year: 205; like-for-like +29%)
- Margin improvement in all group areas
- Significant reduction in net debt to €6.1 billion thanks to completed sale of building products business