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Vicat cement sales volumes jump 10.5%

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World Cement,

Paris-based building materials company, Vicat, has announced an 8% increase in earnings to €458 million in 2016 on revenues of €2.45 billion. Consolidated net income, meanwhile, jumped 25.3% to €165 million.

“Vicat performed well in 2016 against the backdrop of a very difficult geopolitical and monetary climate,” said the group’s chairman and CEO, Guy Sidos. “Operating margin rose and results reflected the good sales momentum achieved by the group’s staff, combined with a very firm grip on costs.”

According to Sidos, the year saw a return to growth in Egypt and France, with improvements in the company’s US business.

In France, cement sales rose 1.5% in 2016, a result of a 6% increase in volumes in the domestic and export markets. The increase in sales helped to offset a slight fall in selling prices with earnings rising 12.4% compared with the adjusted 2015 figure.

Elsewhere in Europe, company’s cement sales volumes were up 3% in Switzerland on a strong second half to the year, helping to offset a significant fall in average prices. The higher sales and cost-cutting measures helped the company to a 1.5% increase in earnings.

The company also saw growth in Egypt, where full year sales were up 33.7% driven by a sharp increase in sales volumes. Average selling prices were down, but earnings were supported by lower energy costs on the back of a switch to coal, rising to €19.5 million from €4.8 million the year before.

In the US, the company’s cement business saw sales rise 12.5% to €363 million. Volumes grew by almost 4% on strength in the southeast, which offset weakness in California. Selling prices were also up across the US business, support earnings up 55.2%.

Overall, Vicat’s cement business sales saw a 10.5% increase in volumes to 21.9 million t with earnings of €380 million – a 12.2% rise – supported by margin improvement in Egypt, the US and France.

Looking ahead, the group expects “further improvements in its performance, capitalising on ongoing growth in the US, France and India, and a return to growth in Europe (excluding France) and Kazakhstan.

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