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Buzzi Unicem reports positive 2017

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World Cement,

Buzzi Unicem reported a 4.4% increase in cement sales in 2017. The Italian multinational sold 26.8 million t of cement and clinker, compared to 25.6 million t in 2016, following positive trends in Italy, Central and Eastern Europe.

In Buzzi’s home market, cement and clinker volumes jumped 19.5% on the back of the full consolidation of the Zillo group into the results, as well as growth in exports and clinker sales. Italian cement consumption finished the year up marginally, ending a decade of market contraction.

In Central Europe, Germany – Buzzi Unicem’s largest European market – also provided positive news for the company, with lively demand for oil well cements and hydraulic binders in particular. Buzzi operates seven cement plants, including two grinding plants in Germany, through its subsidiary, Dyckerhoff.

In Luxembourg and the Netherlands, cement and clinker volumes closed the year up 4.5% on a strong latter end to the year. Volumes in the Czech Republic were also up strongly (+8.2%) on higher levels of investment in construction across the private and public sectors.

Poland and Russia showed more marginal volume growth. Despite acceleration in Polish economic growth to 3.8% last year, cement volumes were up only 0.7% - although pricing also improved. Speciality oil well cements helped underpin a 1.7% growth in sales volumes in Russia, which came out of two years of recession during 2017. In Ukraine, volumes were down 1.5% on the previous year, as the pace of economic recovery remained modest.

On the financial side, results were up across the board. In Italy, sales were up 14.0% at €428 million, while German sales hit €588 million, a rise of 2.7%. In Luxembourg and the Netherlands, revenue was up 6.4% at €186 million.

In Eastern Europe, strengthening local currencies boosted revenues in Poland (+2.1%), the Czech Republic (+8.6%) and Russia (+19.4), while in Ukraine a significant increase in prices underpinned a 18.5% rise in revenue.

Across the Atlantic, in the US, Buzzi Unicem’s largest market, volumes were steady with the previous year, after a year of challenging weather conditions. Revenues were up marginally at €1.12 billion. Meanwhile, south of the border in Mexico, where Buzzi jointly owns Corporación Moctezuma with Cementos Molins, cement volumes achieved “adequate growth”. Corporación Moctezuma reported a 12.7% rise in revenues to €686 million.

Overall, net sales were €2.8 billion, a 5.1% increase on the previous year. In addition to a 4.4% rise in cement and clinker sales, ready-mixed concrete sales were up 3.1%.

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