LafargeHolcim Continues Growth in Sales and EBITDA in Q3

  • Q3 Net Sales grow 4.1% year-on-year to CHF 6.9 billion on a like-for-like basis
  • Q3 Operating EBITDA Adjusted up 5.9% to CHF 1.75 billion on a like-for-like basis
  • Delivery of synergies ahead of target helped improve Group Operating EBITDA Margin Adjusted by 80 basis points in Q3 and 100 basis points year to date
  • Net Income Group share up 8.1% year to date, down in Q3 on disposal gains in prior year
  • 2017 and 2018 outlook reset to reflect current business dynamics

ZURICH--()--Regulatory News:

Jan Jenisch, Group CEO of LafargeHolcim (Paris:LHN) said: “In the past two months I have visited many of our operations and have been impressed by the experience and enthusiasm of our employees. LafargeHolcim is a first-class company with growing profits in an attractive industry. While the company delivered solid quarterly results, they do not reflect our full potential. As the market leader, we will hold ourselves to a higher standard than anyone else in our sector.

“Today we have reset expectations for the Group’s outlook to a level that reflects the current business dynamics. While I am reviewing the business, I have an immediate focus on simplification, cost discipline and performance management. We will reduce complexity and focus on operational excellence in order to fully realize the potential of LafargeHolcim. My goal is to generate leading margins and an attractive growth profile, positioned for sustainable value creation for our employees, customers and shareholders.”

GROUP PERFORMANCE

LafargeHolcim delivered solid like-for-like Operating EBITDA Adjusted growth in the third quarter with positive contributions from Latin America, North America and Europe. Market conditions were challenging in Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa where actions are being taken to address weakness in key countries.

Like-for-like cement volumes were up 4.7 percent in Q3 and 1.8 percent for the year to date. Globally, cement prices improved by 5.6 percent in the quarter compared to the prior year on a like-for-like basis.

Synergies of CHF 97 million were delivered in Q3, with the Group exceeding its year-end target of CHF 1 billion of total synergies already in July.

Operating EBITDA Adjusted increased by 5.9 percent in the quarter to CHF 1,750 million on a like-for-like basis and was 9.2 percent higher for the year to date. Pricing, cost discipline and synergies contributed to higher margins with Operating EBITDA Margin Adjusted improving by 80 basis points in Q3 and 100 basis points for the first nine months.

Net Income Group share, at CHF 1,446 million, was up 8.1 percent year to date reflecting the increase in Operating EBITDA and a lower effective tax rate for the nine months 2017. Net Income Group share for the quarter declined to CHF 433 million on higher proceeds from disposals in the prior year period. Recurring Net Income grew by 7.9 percent to CHF 1,270 million for the year to date and was down to CHF 589 million for Q3.

Year to date, Recurring Earnings Per Share improved by 8.2 percent to CHF 2.10. Viewed on a quarterly basis, Recurring EPS was CHF 0.98, down on CHF 1.13 for the same period in 2016.

Net debt stood at CHF 15.5 billion at quarter end.

OUTLOOK: 2017 AND 2018

Overall cement demand globally is expected to increase by 1 to 3 percent in aggregate for 2017. Following a strong first half and solid Q3, growth in like-for-like Operating EBITDA Adjusted is expected to moderate further for the remainder of 2017.

For 2017, the Group expects to deliver:

  • 5 to 7 percent growth in Operating EBITDA Adjusted over 2016 on a like-for-like basis
  • Growth in Recurring EPS
  • Net debt / Operating EBITDA Adjusted of around 2.5x

For 2018, the Group has reset some of the volume and pricing assumptions that underpinned earnings targets to reflect current business dynamics. We expect that this will translate into a growth rate for Operating EBITDA Adjusted on a like-for-like basis of at least 5 percent.

The business review is under way, including country strategies and a focus on simplification, cost discipline and performance management. A strategic and outlook update will be provided in March 2018 when full year 2017 results are published. On this occasion, the Group will also give an update on portfolio management. So far, the disposal program has completed CHF 4.4 billion in enterprise value.

KEY GROUP FIGURES

Group Q3                    
    July-Sep   July-Sep  
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 53.8 57.9 -7.0 4.7
Sales of aggregates million t 80.1 81.3 -1.5 0.1
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 13.3 14.4 -7.4 -2.2
Net sales million CHF 6,944 7,036 -1.3 4.1
Operating profit million CHF 1,045 1,092 -4.3 -0.4
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 1,750 1,717 1.9 5.9
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 25.2 24.4 80 bps  
Net income2 million CHF 433 1,045 -58.5  
Net income recurring2 million CHF 589 687 -14.3  
Recurring EPS CHF 0.98 1.13 -13.3  
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 1,140 1,255 -9.2 -7.1
Operating Free Cash Flow3 million CHF 903 856 5.5 7.6
   
 
Group YTD                    
  Jan-Sep   Jan-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 155.8 177.2 -12.1 1.8
Sales of aggregates million t 208.1 211.5 -1.6 0.2
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 37.7 41.9 -10.1 -3.8
Net sales million CHF 19,425 20,378 -4.7 4.3
Operating profit million CHF 2,411 2,350 2.6 14.4
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 4,286 4,290 -0.1 9.2
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 22.1 21.1 100 bps  
Net income2 million CHF 1,446 1,338 8.1  
Net income recurring2 million CHF 1,270 1,177 7.9  
Recurring EPS CHF 2.10 1.94 8.2  
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 1,002 1,516 -33.9 -22.5
Operating Free Cash Flow3 million CHF 241 317 -23.9 68.3
Net financial debt4 million CHF 15,535 14,724 5.5  

1 Excluding merger, restructuring and other one-offs

2 Attributable to shareholders of LafargeHolcim Ltd
3 Cash flow from operating activities less net maintenance and expansion capex
4 Prior-year figure as of December 31, 2016

REGIONAL PERFORMANCE

Asia Pacific

In the Asia Pacific region Operating EBITDA Adjusted was 5.9 percent lower than the prior-year period on a like-for-like basis despite a 13 percent increase in like-for-like net sales. India continued to perform strongly in the context of a normal monsoon season, when demand is normally muted. Higher volumes and prices more than offset higher fuel costs. In the Philippines, market conditions in the quarter remained challenging. Prices there are down compared to the prior-year period, and some large government infrastructure projects have been delayed. Management actions are underway across the Asia Pacific region, with initiatives in cost reduction, asset optimization, logistics and commercial transformation.

Asia Pacific Q3

                   
    July-Sep   July-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 21.4 25.8 -16.8 8.7
Sales of aggregates million t 8.1 7.8 3.3 15.3
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 3.4 3.9 -13.6 8.7
Net sales million CHF 1,797 1,894 -5.1 13.1
Operating EBITDA million CHF 270 343 -21.4 -5.9
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 284 358 -20.8 -5.9
Operating EBITDA margin % 15.0 18.1    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 15.8 18.9    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 152 152 0.0 20.9
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 89 73 22.3 78.3
 

Asia Pacific YTD

                   
Jan-Sep Jan-Sep
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 67.6 86.4 -21.7 3.4
Sales of aggregates million t 23.7 23.8 -0.1 12.1
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 9.5 11.9 -20.5 1.0
Net sales million CHF 5,492 6,236 -11.9 5.3
Operating EBITDA million CHF 887 1,125 -21.2 -9.6
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 930 1,162 -20.0 -8.0
Operating EBITDA margin % 16.2 18.0    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 16.9 18.6    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 221 571 -61.3 -52.8
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 48 327 -85.3 -81.3
1 Excluding merger, restructuring and other one-offs
2 Cash flow from operating activities less net maintenance and expansion capex

Europe

Operating EBITDA Adjusted for Europe was up 5.2 percent on a like-for-like basis compared to Q3 2016, with particularly strong contribution from countries in Central and Eastern Europe including Russia. Earnings in the UK were lower on a like-for-like basis, driven by project delays and general economic slowdown. Underlying trends in France were solid as cement and ready-mix concrete volumes increased compared to the prior-year period. Progress continues on the revision of the industrial network. Aggregate and ready-mix concrete volumes were lower in Switzerland than in the prior-year period where a number of large projects have recently been completed.

Europe Q3

                   
    July-Sep   July-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 12.1 12.0 0.3 0.2
Sales of aggregates million t 33.9 34.3 -1.3 -0.9
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 4.6 4.8 -3.8 -3.4
Net sales million CHF 1,922 1,890 1.7 -0.4
Operating EBITDA million CHF 424 402 5.4 3.7
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 450 421 6.9 5.2
Operating EBITDA margin % 22.1 21.3    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 23.4 22.3    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 327 431 -24.1 -24.4
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 277 371 -25.5 -25.4
 
 
Europe YTD                    
    Jan-Sep Jan-Sep  
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 32.1 31.6 1.7 1.5
Sales of aggregates million t 93.9 93.3 0.6 1.0
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 13.5 13.8 -2.5 -2.1
Net sales million CHF 5,328 5,355 -0.5 1.4
Operating EBITDA million CHF 937 950 -1.3 0.7
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 1,000 997 0.3 2.2
Operating EBITDA margin % 17.6 17.7    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 18.8 18.6    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 401 632 -36.6 -36.0
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 243 465 -47.7 -46.9
1 Excluding merger, restructuring and other one-offs
2 Cash flow from operating activities less net maintenance and expansion capex

Latin America

Latin America delivered a strong performance on the back of positive sales growth, translating to a 25.6 percent increase in Operating EBITDA Adjusted like-for-like compared to the prior year. Mexico delivered continued strong margins and earnings as the business delivered on its commercial strategy despite the impact of September’s earthquakes on economic activity. Operating EBITDA Adjusted for Ecuador improved on the prior-year period on a like-for-like basis. In Argentina, commercial initiatives helped deliver another quarter of earnings growth.

Latin America Q3

                   
    July-Sep   July-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 6.7 6.3 6.0 9.5
Sales of aggregates million t 1.0 1.6 -36.7 -22.1
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 1.4 1.6 -13.8 1.3
Net sales million CHF 747 716 4.3 12.0
Operating EBITDA million CHF 274 214 27.9 31.6
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 288 234 23.1 25.6
Operating EBITDA margin % 36.7 29.9    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 38.5 32.7    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 182 120 51.5 58.6
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 179 92 94.0 103.1
 
 
Latin America YTD                    
    Jan-Sep Jan-Sep  
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 18.5 18.1 2.1 3.2
Sales of aggregates million t 3.3 4.9 -32.8 -24.5
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 4.4 5.0 -12.1 -6.3
Net sales million CHF 2,207 2,083 6.0 9.1
Operating EBITDA million CHF 790 624 26.5 29.5
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 785 655 19.8 23.1
Operating EBITDA margin % 35.8 30.0    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 35.6 31.5    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 229 142 61.4 77.4
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 200 69 190.3 227.8
1 Excluding merger, restructuring and other one-offs
2 Cash flow from operating activities less net maintenance and expansion capex

Middle East Africa

Operating EBITDA Adjusted in Middle East Africa was 2.1 percent lower than in the prior-year period on a like-for-like basis. Earnings in Nigeria, which is slowly exiting from recession, were higher in the quarter than in the prior-year period, with favorable pricing more than offsetting an increase in cost. Economic conditions in Algeria deteriorated over the third quarter, which led to a marked decline in Q3 volumes compared to the prior-year period.

Middle East Africa Q3

                   
    July-Sep   July-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 8.8 9.5 -7.6 -5.0
Sales of aggregates million t 2.7 2.9 -7.1 -7.1
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 1.1 1.4 -25.0 -25.0
Net sales million CHF 812 882 -7.9 3.0
Operating EBITDA million CHF 205 240 -14.4 -10.8
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 232 248 -6.4 -2.1
Operating EBITDA margin % 25.3 27.2    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 28.6 28.1    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 107 163 -34.0 -37.7
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 34 85 -60.5 -81.4
 

Middle East Africa YTD

                   
Jan-Sep Jan-Sep
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 26.9 31.2 -13.9 -4.7
Sales of aggregates million t 8.0 8.9 -10.0 -7.1
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 3.6 4.6 -21.8 -19.4
Net sales million CHF 2,560 3,012 -15.0 7.9
Operating EBITDA million CHF 760 836 -9.1 14.8
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 824 855 -3.6 21.2
Operating EBITDA margin % 29.7 27.8    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 32.2 28.4    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 263 518 -49.2 -37.8
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 129 251 -48.6 -37.4
1 Excluding merger, restructuring and other one-offs
2 Cash flow from operating activities less net maintenance and expansion capex

North America

Operating EBITDA Adjusted for North America was up 7.6 percent for the third quarter on a like-for-like basis. Earnings in the US were significantly higher than in the prior-year period despite unfavorable weather. Demand for aggregates in the US was also impacted by a cautious sentiment for both private and public sector investment. Continued work on cost reduction and the ramp up of key plants such as St. Genevieve and Ravena are supporting earnings growth. In Canada, volumes of cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete increased, underpinning an uplift in earnings.

North America Q3                    
    July-Sep   July-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 5.9 6.0 -1.6 -1.6
Sales of aggregates million t 34.4 34.6 -0.7 -0.7
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 2.9 2.6 8.8 -2.3
Net sales million CHF 1,790 1,801 -0.6 -2.6
Operating EBITDA million CHF 601 567 6.1 6.0
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 621 575 7.9 7.6
Operating EBITDA margin % 33.6 31.5    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 34.7 32.0    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 364 354 2.8 1.6
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF 319 200 59.3 56.5
North America YTD                    
    Jan-Sep   Jan-Sep    
    2017 2016 ±% ±% like-for-like
Sales of cement million t 14.4 14.7 -2.6 -2.6
Sales of aggregates million t 79.2 80.6 -1.8 -1.8
Sales of ready-mix concrete million m3 6.7 6.6 2.6 -1.8
Net sales million CHF 4,194 4,204 -0.2 -1.8
Operating EBITDA million CHF 1,172 957 22.5 21.7
Operating EBITDA adjusted1 million CHF 1,093 971 12.6 11.8
Operating EBITDA margin % 27.9 22.8    
Operating EBITDA margin adjusted1 % 26.1 23.1    
Cash flow from operating activities million CHF 198 171 15.4 13.9
Operating Free Cash Flow2 million CHF -66 -269 75.6 75.2
1 Excluding merger, restructuring and other one-offs
2 Cash flow from operating activities less net maintenance and expansion capex

OTHER FINANCIAL DETAILS

Merger, restructuring and other one-offs amounted to CHF 165 million for the nine months 2017 consisting of CHF 301 million of merger-related and restructuring costs, partly offset by other one-offs of CHF 136 million resulting from the reversal of provisions in Q2 2017.

The contribution to Group profits from joint ventures increased by CHF 35 million compared to the first nine months of 2016. In Q3 the increase was CHF 13 million. The share of profits from associates in the year to date increased by CHF 51 million reflecting a larger contribution from Huaxin Cement, China, as a result of higher prices in the market and the integration of the Lafarge assets sold to Huaxin on 1 January 2017.

Net financial expenses of CHF 583 million are CHF 24 million lower compared to the first nine months 2016. This reflects financial synergy benefits arising from the merger as well as reduced levels of net financial debt in 2017 offset by non-recurring expenses in relation to ongoing legal cases.

The effective tax rate for the nine months 2017 is 27.2 percent deriving from a yearly projected tax rate of around 28 percent and the impact of the divestment of Vietnam in Q1 2017.

Net capital expenditure for the nine months was CHF 760 million of which CHF 291 million was expansion Capex.

Operating Free Cash Flow stood at CHF 241 million for nine months, compared with CHF 317 million for the same period in 2016.

In November 2016, the Group announced a share buyback program of up to CHF 1 billion over 2017-2018. Between June 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017, 5.2 million shares were repurchased to the value of CHF 297 million.

Net of tax, the proceeds of the transactions completed during the first nine months resulted in a net debt reduction of around CHF 1.1 billion. This follows the completion of the Vietnam divestment in Q1, the completion of the Chile divestment in Q3 and the remittance of full cash proceeds from announced transactions in China, with the exception of CHF 110 million which will be received in 2018 as previously disclosed.

Net debt stood at CHF 15.5 billion at quarter end.

RECONCILIATION TO GROUP ACCOUNTS

Reconciling measures of profit and loss to LafargeHolcim Group consolidated statement of income

Million CHF   Q3
2017
  Q3
2016
  YTD
2017
  YTD
2016
Operating profit 1,045 1,092 2,411 2,350
Depreciation, amortization and impairment of operating assets 578 534 1,709 1,673
Operating EBITDA 1,623 1,626 4,120 4,023
Merger, restructuring and other one offs 127 91 165 267
Operating EBITDA Adjusted 1,750 1,717 4,286 4,290

Reconciliation of Recurring Net Income with Net Income as disclosed in Financial Statements

Million CHF   Q3
2017
  Q3
2016
  YTD
2017
  YTD
2016
Net income 471 1,103 1,625 1,555
Merger related one-off costs 19 35 56 138
Other one-off costs above CHF 50 million 72 0 8 0
Gains on disposals and impairment 81 (420) (222) (386)
Bonds early repayment premiums 0 22 0 90
Recurring Net Income 643 740 1,467 1,397
of which Recurring Net income Group share 589 687 1,270 1,177
Adjustments disclosed net of taxation

Reconciliation of Operating Free Cash Flow to consolidated cash flows of LafargeHolcim Group

Million CHF   Q3
2017
  Q3
2016
  YTD
2017
  YTD
2016
Cash flow from operating activities 1,140 1,255 1,002 1,516
Purchase of property, plant and equipment (286) (429) (864) (1,279)
Disposal of property, plant and equipment 49 30 104 80
Operating Free Cash Flow 903 856 241 317

Reconciliation of Net Financial Debt to consolidated statement of LafargeHolcim Group

Million CHF   30 Sept 2017   31 Dec 2016
Current financial liabilities 4,753 4,976
Long-term financial liabilities 15,159 14,744
Cash and cash equivalents (4,294) (4,923)
Short-term derivative assets (60) (68)
Long-term derivative assets (23) (6)
Net Financial Debt 15,535 14,724

Some non-GAAP measures are used in this release to help describe the performance of LafargeHolcim. A set of these non-GAAP definitions can be found on our website.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The analyst presentation of the results and our Q3 report are available on our website at www.lafargeholcim.com

The financial statements based on IFRS can be found on the LafargeHolcim Group website.

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About LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company serving masons, builders, architects and engineers all over the world. Group operations produce cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete which are used in building projects ranging from affordable housing and small, local projects to the biggest, most technically and architecturally challenging infrastructure projects. As urbanisation increasingly impacts people and the planet, the Group provides innovative products and building solutions with a clear commitment to social and environmental sustainability. With leading positions in all regions, LafargeHolcim employs around 90,000 employees in more than 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

More information is available on www.lafargeholcim.com

Important disclaimer - forward-looking statements:

This document contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements do not constitute forecasts regarding results or any other performance indicator, but rather trends or targets, as the case may be, including with respect to plans, initiatives, events, products, solutions and services, their development and potential. Although LafargeHolcim believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, investors are cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of LafargeHolcim, including but not limited to the risks described in the LafargeHolcim's annual report available on its Internet website (www.lafargeholcim.com) and uncertainties related to the market conditions and the implementation of our plans. Accordingly, we caution you against relying on forward looking statements. LafargeHolcim does not undertake to provide updates of these forward-looking statements.

Contacts

Media Relations:
Zurich: +41 (0) 58 858 87 10
Paris: +33 (0) 1 44 34 11 70
media@lafargeholcim.com
or
Investor Relations:
Zurich: +41 (0) 58 858 87 87
investor.relations@lafargeholcim.com

Contacts

Media Relations:
Zurich: +41 (0) 58 858 87 10
Paris: +33 (0) 1 44 34 11 70
media@lafargeholcim.com
or
Investor Relations:
Zurich: +41 (0) 58 858 87 87
investor.relations@lafargeholcim.com