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A mixed bag for HeidelbergCement in Europe

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World Cement,

HeidelbergCement reported cement sales of 54.8 million t in Europe and Central Asia last year, a slight rise from the 54.0 million t of sales reported in 2016. Earnings were €1.152 billion, rising from €1.073 billion in 2016 on the back of a 17.1% increase in earnings in the company’s Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia business.

“The strong development of building activity continued in the Northern European countries,” HeidelbergCement said. “The positive sales development, successful price increases, and consistent cost management are reflected in the improvement of revenue and results in the Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia group area.”

Sales were up in Scandinavia, Poland, and Romania, but down in Russia and Ukraine where the company focused on increasing prices.

In Western and Southern Europe, the results were more mixed with earnings level with the previous years (although down 2.2% on a like-for-like basis). Results were particularly affected by the UK market, which suffered from the uncertainties resulting from the Brexit vote. The devaluation of the British pound against the euro also impaired results.

“In the UK, delays in infrastructure programmes and weakening residential and commercial building activities in London led to declining sales volumes in all business lines,” the company said.

There was improvement in the German market for building materials, however, while Italy, Spain, and Frainnce also showed signs of recovery. Overall, cement sales in the Western and Southern Europe business area were up, while sales of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete fell.

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Heidelberg Cement news Cement news 2018