BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - HeidelbergCement (HDELY.PK) reported that its group revenue for the fourth-quarter rose considerably by 10% to 4.7 billion euros from the previous year's 4.3 billion euros. Currency and consolidation effects had barely any impact on the development of revenue.
Result from current operations before depreciation and amortisation declined by 5% to 847 million euros from last year. Adjusted for the sale of the exhausted quarry in the USA in the previous year, the figure increased slightly.
Cement and clinker sales volumes rose by 2% to 33 million tonnes from last year's 32 million tonnes, driven by solid growth in Europe and Asia. Deliveries of aggregates remained stable at 76 million tonnes. The growth in North America and in Western and Southern Europe offset declines in the other Group areas. Sales volumes of ready-mixed concrete increased by 8% to 13 million tonnes.
In its forecast from January 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the global upturn to continue on a broad scale. Global economic growth will slightly weaken from 3.7% in 2018 to 3.5% in 2019 in connection with trade disputes between the USA and China and recently reduced dynamics in Europe. The risks that could continue to jeopardise growth include a further escalation of the trade disputes, high public and private debt, a disorderly Brexit, and a stronger than expected economic slowdown in China.
HeidelbergCement expects worldwide demand for cement to increase further in 2019. This applies in particular to Indonesia, India, Africa south of the Sahara, and North America.
'Considering the overall positive outlook for the global economy, we are confident about the future,' said Bernd Scheifele. 'We assume that some of the factors that impaired our results in 2018 will not be present in 2019. In particular, this relates to the adverse weather conditions in the USA, energy price inflation that was stronger than expected, and the price collapse in Indonesia.
'....In view of our strong positioning in raw material reserves and production sites in attractive locations, the unique vertical integration, our excellent product portfolio, and our industry-leading margin management, we believe we are well equipped for the opportunities and challenges of 2019,' said Dr. Bernd Scheifele.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX