French cement manufacturer Vicat has reported its 2015 first half results, showing consolidated sales of €1243 million and Ebitda of €203 million.
Unfavourable weather conditions put a dampener on this year’s first half when the cement division’s operational sales fell 4.9% at constant scope and exchange rates, while concrete and aggregates were lower by 7.7%.
Operations in France remain challenged by the macroeconomic and industry environment, while competition in Senegal and lower prices in Egypt resulted in weaker sales in the West Africa and Middle East region. Poor weather in Turkey in the first quarter had an impact on 1H15 performance, despite a strong increase in 2Q15. On the upside, business was more positive in the US, Kazakhstan and India.
A change in accounting standards led to a negative impact on Ebitda and consolidated net income. Ebitda was also affected by the decline in France’s contribution, high energy costs and low cement prices in Egypt, a lower contribution from Switzerland and the 1Q15 decline in Turkey.
Vicat is investing in two coal mills in Egypt, set to be commissioned this month, which will help alleviate fuel concerns. These matters were partially offset by the improvements noted in the US and India.
The group expects further improvements in performance for the full year and will continue to target optimised cash flows and improved debt ratios. Most notably, the group expects stabilisation or limited improvement in France, positive developments in Switzerland, the US and India, continued competition in West Africa and Kazakhstan and an upturn in sales in Egypt.