Votorantim Cimentos ended 2021 with net profit of R$1.6 billion, an increase of 244% compared to 2020, primarily due to better operating results – with growth in sales in all regions where the company operates – and gains related to the consolidation of acquisitions made in North America and Spain. Global net revenue was R$22.3 billion, an increase of 33% compared to 2020, as a result of the combination of favourable pricing dynamics, especially in Brazil and North America, strong sales volumes in all regions and the effects of the consolidation of recent acquisitions.
In 2021, the company sold 37.2 million t of cement in the countries where it has operations (Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, United States and Uruguay), an increase of 15% compared to the volume sold in 2020.
“Advances in vaccination and the continuity of fiscal and monetary stimuli contributed to an improvement in the global economy last year, and the cement market remained heated in all countries where we operate. Our business strategy and recent acquisitions, combined with our resilience and operational excellence led us to achieve sales growth in all regions and to close the year with record results,” said Marcelo Castelli, Global CEO of Votorantim Cimentos. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was R$5.2 billion in 2021, a 37% growth compared to the previous year, with an EBITDA margin of 24%, an increase of 1 percentage point over 2020. Votorantim Cimentos ended 2021 with leverage, measured by the net debt/Adjusted EBITDA ratio, of 1.55x, its best level in the last ten years.
“We had record financial performance in 2021, despite the challenging environment due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic and global inflationary pressure. We made significant strategic moves, resumed the payment of dividends to our shareholders and had another consecutive drop in our leverage. Thanks to the strength of our financial metrics, we have recovered and maintained our investment grade rating by the three main rating agencies,” said Osvaldo Ayres Filho, former Global CFO of Votorantim Cimentos, recently promoted to director of Cement Operations, Logistics and Adjacent Businesses. At the end of February 2022, Votorantim Cimentos announced the appointment of Bianca Nasser as the company’s vice president of Finance and Investor Relations (IR), a position she assumed on 01 March.
Last year, the company’s investments in expansion, modernisation and business support (Capex) totalled R$1.5 billion, a 30% growth compared to 2020. Among these investments are the new production line of the cement plant in the Pecém Industrial and Port Complex, in the state of Ceará, which started operating in July 2021. The production of the new unit will reinforce the supply of the market in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza.
Another ongoing investment is in the modernisation of Cementos Artigas, in Uruguay, an operation in which Votorantim Cimentos is a partner. The project, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, includes the relocation of the current cement grinding and dispatch operations from the Montevideo grinding unit to the main plant in Minas, located 100 km from the Uruguayan capital. The new combined production line will result in gains in industrial efficiency, cost competitiveness and sustainability, in addition to reducing electricity consumption. As a result of this consolidation, a new state-of-the-art vertical cement mill and new cement silos will be installed at the Minas unit.
In line with its expansion strategy, Votorantim Cimentos concluded the business combination with Canadian McInnis Cement on 30 April 2021. Since May 2021, the operations of both companies have been consolidated as part of Votorantim Cimentos North America. McInnis operates in the manufacture, distribution and sale of cement in the Great Lakes region, eastern Canada and the northeast coast of the United States. Its commercial assets include a current and modern plant in Port-Daniel-Gascons, Quebec (Canada), with production capacity of 2.2 million t of cement per year, in addition to a deep-water terminal adjacent to the plant and a distribution network including ten terminals (maritime, rail and road).
In July 2021, St Marys Cement Inc. (Canada), a subsidiary of Votorantim Cimentos, completed the purchase of the remaining 50% interest in Superior Materials, a concrete operation located in Detroit, Michigan (USA). The transaction expands Votorantim Cimentos’ participation in the concrete business to serve customers located in the main cities of the Great Lakes region.
Also in North America, in August 2021, Prairie Aggregates Materials, a wholly-owned subsidiary of St Marys Cement, based in Chicago, Illinois (USA), completed the acquisition of Valley View’s Illinois-based operating assets. Valley View Industries operated five units producing aggregates, aglime, gravel, shale and other products for the construction, agricultural and highway sectors.
In October, Votorantim Cimentos, through its subsidiary Votorantim Cimentos España, completed the full acquisition of Cementos Balboa, in Spain. Cementos Balboa has a modern integrated cement plant located in Alconera, province of Badajoz, in the Extremadura region (southwest Spain). With this acquisition, Votorantim Cimentos is complementing its operations in Spain, increasing its operational efficiency and improving its distribution network, in addition to strengthening its presence in the Iberian Peninsula market, in line with the company’s long-term strategy.
To strengthen its business in Spain and leverage the synergy between its assets in the country, Votorantim Cimentos also announced, in November 2021, the signing of an agreement with HeidelbergCement to acquire all of its operating assets in southern Spain, which include a modern integrated cement plant, three aggregate mines and 11 concrete plants in the Andalusia region. The cement plant is located in the city of Málaga (Andalusia) and has an installed production capacity of 1.4 million t of cement per year. Completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of preestablished conditions, including approval by regulatory authorities in Spain. The two companies will continue to operate as separate businesses until the transaction is completed.
Reinforcing its transparency and ESG practices, Votorantim Cimentos has published its 2021 Integrated Report, which presents data related to the company’s business in 2021, as well as progress toward its 2030 Sustainability Commitments.
“Last year, we celebrated our operational growth and the advancement of our strategy. On the other hand, 2022 began with many uncertainties on the global macroeconomic stage, aggravated by geopolitical conflicts. Our robust financial metrics, the advancement of ESG practices in our operations and the strategic moves we have made make us more resilient to withstand this volatile environment and the additional pressure on costs,” said Castelli.
Performance by region
In Brazil, Votorantim Cimentos had net revenue of R$10.3 billion in 2021, a 30% growth compared to 2020. Adjusted EBITDA grew 58%, to R$2.4 billion. The positive results, despite a flat market in the second half of the year and a strong comparison base in the previous year, were primarily due to strong market dynamics, with an increase in sales volumes and prices, which alleviated the cost pressure related to higher commodity prices and local inflation.
In North America, net revenue was R$7.1 billion last year, up 31% over 2020. Adjusted EBITDA in the region was R$1.8 billion in 2021, up 26%. The positive results were primarily due to the consolidation of the McInnis, Superior Materials and Valley View acquisitions, in addition to strong demand in Canada and the United States, price dynamics in both countries and favourable weather conditions brought by a mild winter.
In Europe, Asia and Africa, net revenue was R$2.9 billion in 2021, a 37% growth compared to the previous year. The region was the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, resulting in a lower base of comparison. Adjusted EBITDA in the region was R$562 million, up 24% over the previous year. In 2021, there was strong demand in all countries and positive price dynamics in most of them. This situation partially offset the pressure of higher costs.
In Latin America, net revenue was R$978 million in 2021, up 19% compared to 2020. Adjusted EBITDA in 2021 was R$237 million, 19% higher. Some of the highlights include the recovery of the Bolivian market, which was strongly impacted by COVID-19 in 2020, and solid demand in Uruguay. Both countries had stable prices and benefited from the positive effects of the devaluation of the real during the year.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/01042022/votorantim-cimentos-shares-2021-financial-results/
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