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Cement News

»   » Update on Turkey
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:21:43 +0000

One of the more interesting news stories in recent weeks was the completion of Oyak Cement’s acquisition of Cimpor. Previously we focused on the connection to Taiwan Cement (GCW377). Around the same time that the Oyak-Cimpor deal was announced in late October 2018 the Taiwanese company bought a 40% stake in the Turkish cement producer for around US$640m. However, as the world’s sixth largest cement producer by cement production capacity, Turkey is always a country worth keeping an eye on for both the Oyak deal and the wider industry.

Graph 1: Turkish domestic cement sales, 2007 - 2017. Source: Turkish Cement Manufacturers' Association (TÇMB). 

Graph 1: Turkish domestic cement sales, 2007 - 2017. Source: Turkish Cement Manufacturers' Association (TÇMB).

Graph 2: Turkish cement and clinker exports, 2007 - 2017. Source: Turkish Cement Manufacturers' Association (TÇMB). 

Graph 2: Turkish cement and clinker exports, 2007 - 2017. Source: Turkish Cement Manufacturers' Association (TÇMB).

Data from the Turkish Cement Manufacturers' Association (TÇMB) shows that domestic cement sales have been rising steadily to 72.2Mt in 2017 after a blip in the late 2000s. So far 2018 has not kept the trend, with a drop of 2.01% year-on-year to 50.8Mt for the first nine months of 2018 from 51.8Mt in the same period in 2017. Turkey is also a major exporter of cement so these are the other figures to watch. After hitting a high of nearly 18Mt in 2010 they dropped for five years before rising again. The ratio of clinker in the exports total has also been growing recently. LIke domestic production ,exports were down at the nine month mark in 2018, by 1.8% to 9.9Mt, but the ratio of clinker exports has continued to grow.

Given the focus on exports for the Turkish market Oyak Cement’s international purchases via Cimpor widen its options. The deal covered assets in Portugal and Cape Verde including three integrated cement plants and two mills, with a total cement production capacity of 9.1Mt/yr. It’s not clear yet how Oyak wants to run its new foreign plants but it might be tempting to focus on a grinding model abroad using imported Turkish clinker depending on running costs. Back home in Turkey Oyak Cement is the largest local producer with a 15% market share. It operates seven integrated plants with a production capacity of 16Mt/yr according to Global Cement Directory 2019 data.

As for the other major companies, Akçansa, a joint venture of Sabancı Holding and HeidelbergCement, saw its sales rise by 4% to US$277m in 2017. Its sales volumes of cement and clinker rose but its exports fell by 13% to 1.3Mt. In its third quarter report for 2018 HeidelbergCement highlighted issues with the local economy such as high inflation, a currency crisis and a resulting loss of confidence.Sabancı also holds a majority stake in the other major producer, Çimsa Çimento. At the six month mark Çimsa Çimento reported that its sales grew by 35% year-on-year to US$162m and its net profit increased by 55% to US$23.2m. Notably, Çimsa also runs a number of international terminals in Germany, Italy, Spain, the disputed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Russia, with distribution operations in Romania and the US also.

As mentioned above the general Turkish economy faced problems in 2018 when the value of the Turkish Lira dropped sharply in mid-2018 and interest rates soared. This led to a reduction in industrial output. On the cement side this is likely visible in falling local sales in 2018 and the switch to exports. Raw materials have also risen in this environment leading the president of the TÇMB to reassure the construction industry that the price of cement would not rise too sharply in 2019. Some of the eye-watering input hikes that he cited included a 76% rise in electricity costs, a 182% rise in the price of coal and a 170% rise in the price of petcoke. With this kind of backdrop the 2018 annual results for the Turkish producers may not make easy reading. Yet this also may explain why Oyak Cement moved overseas and allowed Taiwan Cement to invest in it when it did. Looking more widely it seems exports are likely to grow in the near future.

»   » Bernd Scheifele to step down as chairman of HeidelbergCement in 2020
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:19:41 +0000

Germany: Bernd Scheifele has decided to step down as chairman of the managing board of HeidelbergCement in February 2020 after 15 years in the post. He will be succeeded by Dominik von Achten, the current deputy chairman. Scheifele will then be proposed for election as successor to the chairman of the supervisory board at the annual general meeting 2022.

In other changes to the group’s managing board, Lorenz Näger will remain chief financial officer (CFO) until May 2022 and then become deputy chairman of the managing board. Jon Morrish, previously the head of North America, will take on responsibility for Western and Southern Europe from Von Achten in 2020. Chris Ward, currently head of the Canada region, will be promoted to the managing board and take on responsibility for North America from Jon Morrish. Ernest Jelito, currently the head of HeidelbergCement’s activities in Poland, will be promoted to the managing board and take on responsibility for Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia from Albert Scheuer, who will leave the managing board in August 2019.

“The changes in 2020 are part of long-term succession planning for the Supervisory Board and Managing Board of HeidelbergCement,” said Fritz-Jürgen Heckmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of HeidelbergCement AG. “Since assuming office in 2005, Dr Bernd Scheifele has decisively shaped the Group and successfully moved it into new dimensions both operationally and strategically. By introducing effective management processes and a lean organisation, he significantly increased the competitiveness of HeidelbergCement, propelling us to the forefront of the industry. He has also overseen expansion of our geographic footprint and the scope of our core activities and made HeidelbergCement the leading vertically integrated building materials company globally,” said Fritz-Jürgen Heckmann, chairman of the supervisory board of HeidelbergCement. He added that the changes in 2020 are part of long-term succession planning for the supervisory board and managing board of HeidelbergCement,”

Dominik von Achten has served as the deputy chairman of the managing board since 2015. He has been a member of the Managing Board since 2007 with responsibility for North America Group area and other topics. Currently, he is in charge of the Western and Southern Europe Group area and the Competence Center Materials. As Chief Digital Officer, he also oversees the digital transformation and digital ventures.

Lorenz Näger has been the CFO of HeidelbergCement since 2004. In addition, he is the head of finance, accounting, controlling, tax, treasury, insurances and risk management, information technology (IT) and shared service centre.

Ernest Jelito joined HeidelbergCement in 1982 and held various technical and management positions before taking over as Director Global HTC in 2009. Since 2015 he has worked as General Manager Poland.

Chris Ward has been with the group since 1996, holding various management positions in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas before taking on responsibility for the aggregates business in the Southeast region of the US. Currently, he is responsible for the Canada region in the North America Group area.

»   » Bimlendra Jha appointed head of Ambuja Cement
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:18:49 +0000

India: Bimlendra Jha has been appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ambuja Cement, with immediate effect.

He joins the subsidiary of LafargeHolcim from Tata Steel where he has spent nearly three decades of his career. Over the past six years, he has held multiple leadership roles, including Executive Chairman Long Products Europe, Executive Director on the Board of Tata Steel Europe and CEO Tata Steel UK, looking after operations in UK, Sweden, and Canada.

He holds a B. Tech in Ceramic Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Varanasi and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, Marketing and Finance from the Xavier School of Management Jamshedpur.

»   » Guillaume Moyen appointed chief financial officer for operations at Dangote Cement
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:17:40 +0000

Nigeria: Dangote Cement has appointed Guillaume Moyen as its chief financial officer (CFO) for operations. He was the CFO of UAE-based OLA Energy from 2014 to early 2019, according to Bloomberg. He will report to group CFO Brian Egan.

»   » Vicat builds sales in 2018
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:41:25 +0000

Vicat builds sales in 2018

France: Vicat’s sales rose slightly to Euro2.58bn in 2018 from Euro 2.56bn in 2017. Its cement sales volumes fell slightly to 22.8Mt and its ready-mix concrete sales volumes decreased by 6.7% year-on-year to 9.04Mm3. Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped by 2.2% to Euro435m from Euro444m. However, at constant scope and exchange rates its sales and earnings rose by 5.9% and 2.7% respectively.

“Vicat delivered a satisfying performance in 2018, in a very mixed operating environment that saw large seasonal variations. The dynamism of the group’s sales teams, combined with a very firm grip on costs, allowed us to limit the consequences of the monetary and geopolitical difficulties affecting some of our markets,” said Guy Sidos, the group’s chairman and chief executive office (CEO). He added that the company had also reduced its debt in 2018 and purchased Ciplan in Brazil.

The group reported growth in France in all businesses and good sales in Kazakhstan, India and Turkey. Improvement was noted in the US, despite weather issues, and Senegal. There was a slight fall in sales in Europe, excluding France, and Egypt experienced a ‘sharp’ fall in sales and volumes.

»   » JSW Cement to invest over US$275m to meet 20Mt/yr capacity target by 2020
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:34:15 +0000

JSW Cement to invest over US$275m to meet 20Mt/yr capacity target by 2020

India: JSW Cement plans to invest over US$275m towards meeting its target production capacity of 20Mt/yr by 2020. Following this achievement it intends to launch an initial public officer (IPO), according to the Economic Times newspaper. The company aims to reach its capacity target through expansions and upgrades at its existing plants.

At present the cement producer has a capacity of 12.6Mt/yr. It will add 1.8Mt/yr at Dolvi, 1.8Mt/yr at Vijayanagar, 1.2Mt/yr at Jajpur in Odisha and 1.2Mt/yr in Salboni. Following the IPO it will build new capacity in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

»   » Indian cement importers cancel orders from Pakistan
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:33:13 +0000

Indian cement importers cancel orders from Pakistan

India/Pakistan: Cement importers in India have asked exporters in Pakistan to stop their consignments following a 200% rise in tariffs for cement and other products in India. The duties have been imposed in response to an attack on police in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in mid-February 2019, according to the Dawn newspaper. A source quoted by the newspaper said that cement shipments are being recalled on route to destinations in India.

Around 75% of Pakistan's cement exports to India are conducted at the Wagah land border, while the rest are handled at sea. Exports to India between July - January of the current financial year were 0.65Mt and exports in 2017 -2018 were 1.2Mt.

»   » Cimenfort to build new cement plant in Angola
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 12:31:13 +0000

Cimenfort to build new cement plant in Angola

Angola: Cimenfort plans to build a new cement plant at Cabinda. The site will have an area of 51 hectares and create 150 news jobs, according to the Mercado newspaper. The country has a total cement production capacity of 8Mt/yr.

»   » US weather and low assets sale hit HeidelbergCement’s earnings in 2018
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 18:42:54 +0000

US weather and low assets sale hit HeidelbergCement’s earnings in 2018

Germany: Poor weather in the US and lower asset sales than expected reduced HeidelbergCement’s earnings in 2018. Its operating earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 6.8% year-on-year Euro3.07bn in 2018 from Euro3.3bn in 2017. Its revenue rose by 4.7% to Euro18.1bn from Euro17.3bn. Cement sales volumes grew by 3.4% to 130Mt from 126Mt and ready-mix concrete volumes increased by 3.7% to 49Mm3 from 47.2Mm3.

“In operational terms, we were almost able to offset the impact of adverse weather conditions, particularly in the US, and the higher than expected cost inflation through growth in sales volumes and price increases,” said Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the managing board. He added that the company achieved record sales volumes and revenues in 2018. He also said that its action plan is producing its first results, with a reduction in debt to below Euro8.4bn due to portfolio ‘optimisation’ and spending discipline.

By region the group reported that construction activity in North America was hampered by a long winter in the north and heavy rainfall, particularly in the north and southwest of the US. A ‘strong’ level of construction was noted in the group’s Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia Group area leading to revenue increases. In Asia-Pacific its operating EBITDA fell by 4.4% due in part to high competition in Indonesia and infrastructure project delays in Thailand. Cement sales volumes growth was reported in most counties in Sub-Saharan Africa.

»   » Ambuja Cement fights energy cost inflation in 2018
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 18:41:06 +0000

Ambuja Cement fights energy cost inflation in 2018

India: Ambuja Cement’s earnings fell in 2018 due to rising energy and fuel costs. The subsidiary of LafargeHolcim says it has implemented efficiency and cost saving programs to mitigate these effects. Its operating earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 6% year-on-year to US$265m in 2018 from US$266m in 2017. Despite this, the company’s sales volumes of cement grew by 5% to 24.2Mt from 23Mt. Its sales revenue rose by 7% to US1.54bn from US$1.44bn. Overall, the consolidated results for both Ambuja Cement and its fellow subsidiary ACC, saw growth in EBITDA, net sales and sales volumes of cement.