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CEMEX’s European business reports strong 4Q17

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World Cement,

CEMEX reported a positive end to the year from its European operations with like-for-like net sales up 5% on 4Q16 and earnings up 9%. Net sales were up 3% over the full year, although earnings fell 9% on a like-for-like basis in 2017 compared to 2016.

Cement volumes were up 13% in 4Q17 and 8% over the full year with strong increases in Spain, and Germany, while Poland also showed growth. Ready-mixed concrete and aggregates volumes were also up.

In Spain, cement volumes were up 28% compared to 2016 on favourable activity in the residential, industrial and commercial construction sectors. In Germany, cement volumes were up 15% over the full year, reflecting CEMEX’s involvement in infrastructure projects, as well as strong demand from the residential sector.

The German “infrastructure sector benefitted from increased government spending, while the residential sector continued to benefit from low unemployment and mortgage rates, rising purchasing power, as well as ongoing immigration,” CEMEX said.

In Poland, cement volumes were up 5% in 2017, as infrastructure spending accelerated and the residential sector was supported by low interest rates, low unemployment, and government-sponsored programmes.

Of the company’s major markets, only the UK saw a volume decline with cement volumes down 6%. Ready-mixed concrete and aggregates volumes were also down.

“Our cement volume performance during the full year reflects a high base of comparison due to non-recurring industry sales, particularly in 1H16, as well as softening market conditions due to political uncertainty,” CEMEX said.

Cement prices for the full year and quarter declined 1% and 2%, respectively.

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