In a press conference yesterday, HeidelbergCement’s Dr Bernd Scheifele expressed concern over the future of operations in Russia. Bloomberg quotes Dr Schiefele as saying: “The greatest risk is if the Americans play power games. If they tap their strategic energy and oil reserves and release them partially into the global market, then experience shows that the oil price could drop”. Given Russia’s dependence on revenues from oil and gas, such a move would hurt the Russian economy and the earnings of businesses operating there. “If the Russian state has no money, then all infrastructure and construction projects come to a standstill, and that will lead to the economy tanking very quickly,” Dr Schiefele said.
Though HeidelbergCement’s business has yet to be affected by the ongoing situation in Crimea, Dr Schiefele acknowledged: “if the situation continues to develop in a tense fashion or the unclear situation continues, there will certainly be an impact on Ukraine and Russia”.
HeidelbergCement operates three cement plants and three cement terminals in
Russia and two cement plants, a grinding plant and five terminals in Ukraine, along with aggregate facilities in each and an rmc plant in Ukraine. Across the two countries, the company generated sales of about €500 million last year, with a profit of around €30 million in Russia, though a loss was made in Ukraine.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui
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