Holcim, an international peer of CRH with significant exposure to emerging markets has reported FY 2013 results this morning, coming in slightly behind forecasts. Revenue for the twelve month period amounted to CHF 19.7 billion (est. CHF 20.1 billion) as LfL growth was +.2% over the period. EBITDA for 2013 amounted to CHF 3.9 billion (est. CHF 3.945 billion). <p>

Management note that countries making positive contributions to EBITDA during the year were the UK, Germany, Ecuador and the Philippines as several countries including India, Mexico and Canada detracted from the growth. Overall EBITDA levels achieved in 2013 were flat against the FY 2012 outturn (CHF 3.89 billion). <p>

In terms of performance by end market, cement volumes amounted to 138.9 million tonnes (2012: 142.3 million tonnes), a decline of 2.4% (Q4: -.2%). Aggregates volumes also moved lower during the year by 2.4% to 154.5 million tonnes, with the positive impact of increased US demand offset by declines in Australia and other Asian geographies. Ready-mixed concrete demand fell by 12.9% in 2013 to 39.5 million cubic meters while asphalt sales also decreased by 2% in the year. <p>

In terms of outlook for 2014, Holcim management note that they expect global economies to provide further growth but that the rate of expansion will continue to be uneven. European markets are expected to have reached a bottom whle North American markets will continue to expand. Latin America is forecast to see continued uncertainties while the group’s other large growth driver, Asia, will grow albeit at a comparatively lower rate than achieved in recent years.
<p><h5>David Holohan</h5>

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