Strong first half of the year

31 July 2019
 
  • Net Sales growth of 3.5% LfL
  • Over-proportional increase in Recurring EBITDAof 10.8% LfL
  • Net income3 up 110%
  • Strong progress in free cash flow1: up CHF 735m
  • Significant deleveraging with net debt1 reduction of 30%
  • 2019 targets confirmed

 

Half-Year 2019 Performance

GROUP AND REGIONAL FIGURES

Group (in million CHF) H1 2019 H1 2018 ±% ±% like-for-like
Net Sales 13,059 13,272 -1.6 3.5
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) 2,662 2,484 7.2 10.8
Operating profit (EBIT, pre-IFRS16) 1,559 1,078 44.7  
Net income2 1,009 318 217.9  
Net income2 before impairment & divestments (pre-IFRS16)  780 371 110.0  
EPS3  (CHF) 1.30 0.62 108.2  
Free Cash Flow (pre-IFRS16) 262 -473    
Net financial debt (pre-IFRS16) 11,340 16,127 -29.7  


Jan Jenisch, CEO: “We have achieved a strong first half of the year and successfully continued our profitable growth strategy. All business segments have contributed to this success and to the continued over-proportional growth in profitability.

Our financial discipline resulted in strong progress in cash flow and a significant reduction in debt. We are executing our Strategy 2022 – ‘Building for Growth’ at full speed and we are confident that we will achieve our targets for 2019.”

 

NET SALES GROWTH IN ALL REGIONS

Net Sales amounted to CHF 13,059 million in the first half of 2019, growing by 3.5% like-for-like compared to the prior-year period. This achievement has been driven by successful pricing management and higher cement volumes. Net Sales grew in all regions supported by a favorable market environment in general, in particular in Europe and North America.

 

OVER-PROPORTIONAL INCREASE OF RECURRING EBITDA1

Recurring EBITDA1 during the reporting period reached CHF 2,662 million, up 10.8% on a like-for-like basis. Even though volumes were lower than expected, Q2 Recurring EBITDA1 improved strongly by 7.1% on a like-for-like basis. This was the fourth consecutive quarter of over-proportional growth of Recurring EBITDA1 over Net Sales since Q3 2018. The growth was driven by continuing positive price over cost momentum, thanks to strict cost discipline and effective price management. As announced, the SG&A cost savings program was completed in Q1 2019, delivering the targeted CHF 400 million cost savings on a run-rate basis.

Recurring EBITDA1 like-for-like and profitability increased in all four business segments. The Aggregates and Ready-Mix Concrete businesses continued to improve margins and to close the gap with best-in-class performers.

 

REGIONAL PERFORMANCE

Europe delivered very good results during the first half of 2019 supported by good market dynamics across the region. Net Sales grew by 7.2% while Recurring EBITDA1 was up 17.1% on a like-for-like basis. Both price increases and improved operational efficiency were the main drivers of this strong margin growth.

In North America, Net Sales were impacted by weather and flooding in the US during Q2. Net Sales grew by 2.8% for the half-year and Recurring EBITDA1 improved slightly by 1.0% on a like-for-like basis. A strong order book and positive price momentum in the US are expected to support improvement in the second half of the year.

In Latin America, Net Sales improved by 3.1% and Recurring EBITDA1 decreased by 4.1% on a like-for-like basis in a softer market environment.

The Asia Pacific region showed strong Recurring EBITDA1 growth, with price improvement and costs savings in India. China continued to contribute solidly to the region’s positive result. Net Sales grew by 2.1% and Recurring EBITDA1 grew by 17.4% in the first half of 2019 on a like-for-like basis.

In Middle East Africa, the turnaround has been successfully achieved in Q2: Recurring EBITDA1 increased by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis. Nigeria delivered a solid performance, Iraq showed further signs of recovery and Algeria is stabilizing. For the first half of 2019 Net Sales grew by 0.3% on a like-for-like basis, while Recurring EBITDA1 decreased by 6.6%.
 

NET INCOME UP 110%

Net Income3 attributable to shareholders of LafargeHolcim reached CHF 780 million versus CHF 371 million in the first half of 2018 benefitting from strong improvement of costs below Recurring EBITDA.

Restructuring, litigation, implementation and other non-recurring costs stood at CHF 71 million, compared to CHF 300 million in the first half of 2018. The decrease reflects the completion of the SG&A cost savings program in the first quarter 2019.

Net financial expenses3 for 2019 totaled CHF 329 million compared to CHF 455 million in the first half of 2018. This improvement is the result of successful refinancing and deleveraging actions. During the first half of the year, a EUR 500 million hybrid bond has been issued and expensive bonds have been successfully repurchased. Since January 2018, the Group has refinanced CHF 2.1 billion in total.

Excluding impairment & divestments, the Group’s effective tax rate improved to 27.0% compared to 27.7% in the full year 2018.

Earnings per share3 more than doubled to CHF 1.30 for the half-year.

 

STRONG PROGRESS IN FREE CASH FLOWS1

Free Cash Flow1 improved significantly by CHF 735 million to reach CHF 262 million compared to CHF -473 million in the first half of 2018, reflecting the improvement in Recurring EBITDA1 and Net Working Capital, lower income tax and interest paid.

Net capital expenditure for the first half was CHF 606 million compared to CHF 526 million for the first half 2018.

 

SIGNIFICANT DELEVERAGING ACHIEVED 

Net financial debt1 has been reduced by CHF 4,787 million compared to June 30, 2018, to CHF 11,340 million at the end of June 2019, down 30% and allowing the company to reach the deleveraging target faster than anticipated. This very strong improvement has been achieved through successful initiatives and highly value-accretive divestments in Southeast Asia. Both credit rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, upgraded the company’s outlook to “stable” in March 2019.

 

TRANSACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS

The divestments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have been successfully closed. For the Philippines a selling agreement has been signed with closing subject to customary and regulatory approval. These transactions have been executed with a high valuation, above 21 times 2018 Recurring EBITDA and result in a significant deleverage of 0.6 times Net Debt to Recurring EBITDA ratio. After the closing of the Philippines transaction, the exit from the hyper competitive arena of Southeast Asia will be completed.

The company has signed 6 bolt-on acquisitions in attractive markets which will help to fuel future growth. The acquisitions in Romania, Australia, Germany, the United States and Canada will allow LafargeHolcim to strengthen its Ready-Mix and precast concrete businesses in growth markets.  

The Annual General Meeting on May 15, 2019 approved a CHF 2 per share dividend. Shareholders were given the choice of having the dividend paid out in cash, in new LafargeHolcim Ltd shares issued at a discount to the market price, or as a combination of cash and shares. 73% of shareholders elected to be paid in shares, making it a very successful scrip dividend program.

 

PROGRESS IN SUSTAINABILITY

In the first six months, the company continued to reduce its CO2 emissions per ton of cementitious material by 1.4% compared to the prior-year period. The use of alternative fuel such as waste and biomass, to replace fossil fuel, grew by over 10% during the same period.

Since 1990, LafargeHolcim has reduced its carbon emissions per ton of cement by more than 25 percent - leading international cement companies with the highest reduction compared to the 1990 baseline. With a target of 520 kg net CO2/ton by 2030, LafargeHolcim remains the most ambitious company in the sector, committed to reducing emission levels in line with a 2 degree scenario, as agreed at the COP21 world climate conference in Paris.

Health & Safety improved with the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) continuing its downward trend.

 

OUTLOOK 2019

The outlook for 2019 is unchanged with solid global market demand expected to continue in 2019 with the following market trends:

  • Continued market growth in North America
  • Softer but stabilizing cement demand in Latin America
  • Continued demand growth in Europe
  • Stabilizing market conditions in Middle East Africa
  • Continued demand growth in Asia Pacific

Based on the above trends and the successful execution of Strategy 2022, the previously communicated targets are confirmed for 2019:

  • Net Sales growth of 3 to 5 percent on a like-for-like basis
  • Recurring EBITDA pre-IFRS16 growth of at least 5 percent on a like-for-like basis
  • Ratio of Net Debt to Recurring EBITDA  2 times or less by end of 2019
  • Continue improving cash conversion
  • Capex and Bolt-on acquisitions less than CHF 2 billion
 

Key figures

Group Q2 2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Net Sales (CHFm) 7,099 7,442 -4.6 1.2
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 1,853 1,784 3.9 7.1
Operating profit (EBIT) (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 1,280 1,010 26.8  
Group H1 2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Net Sales (CHFm) 13,059 13,272 -1.6 3.5
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 2,662 2,484 7.2 10.8
Operating profit (EBIT) (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 1,559 1,078 44.7  
Group results by segment H1 2019 H1 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Sales of cement (mt) 103.8 108.2 -4.0 0.7
Net Sales Cement (CEM) (CHFm) 8,783 8,866 -0.9 5.2
CEM Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 2,173 2,074 4.8 8.7
CEM Recurring EBITDA margin (pre-IFRS16) (%) 24.7 23.4    
 
Sales of aggregates (mt) 121.7 125.3 -2.9 -2.4
Net Sales Aggregates (AGG) (CHFm) 1,907 1,917 -0.5 1.5
AGG Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 329 310 5.9 7.7
AGG Recurring EBITDA margin (pre-IFRS16) (%) 17.2 16.2    
 
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 23.6 24.6 -4.0 -2.0
Net Sales Ready-Mix Concrete (RMX) (CHFm) 2,595 2,657 -2.3 -0.4
RMX Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 92 47 94.4 83.7
RMX Recurring EBITDA margin (pre-IFRS16) (%) 3.5 1.8    
         
Net Sales Solutions & Products (SOP) (CHFm) 996 1,050 -5.1 1.1
SOP Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 69 53 29.7 52.9
SOP Recurring EBITDA margin (pre-IFRS16) (%) 6.9 5.1    
 

Regional performance H1

Asia Pacific 2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Sales of cement (mt) 38.9 45.5 -14.6 -2.7
Sales of aggregates (mt) 13.3 15.9 -16.0 -12.4
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3 ) 5.2 6.1 -15.5 -2.2
Net Sales to external customers (CHFm) 3,417 3,807 -10.2 2.1
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 860 773 11.3 17.4
Europe 2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Sales of cement (mt) 22.5 21.3 5.5 5.5
Sales of aggregates (mt) 57.2 59.0 -3.1 -2.7
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3 ) 9.6 9.3 3.7 3.5
Net Sales to external customers (CHFm) 3,796 3,664 3.6 7.2
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 678 599 13.2 17.1
Latin America 2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Sales of cement (mt) 12.1 12.6 -4.2 -4.2
Sales of aggregates (mt) 2.0 1.7 15.8 15.8
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3 ) 2.5 2.8 -11.3 -11.3
Net Sales to external customers (CHFm) 1,331 1,428 -6.8 3.1
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 446 488 -8.7 -4.1
Middle East Africa 2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Sales of cement (mt) 17.6 17.7 -0.5 -0.5
Sales of aggregates (mt) 3.4 4.1 -16.8 -16.8
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3 ) 1.9 2.0 -3.5 -3.5
Net Sales to external customers (CHFm) 1,476 1,535 -3.8 0.3
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 327 365 -10.5 -6.6
North America  2019 2018 ±% ±% LfL
Sales of cement (mt) 9.0 8.8 2.9 2.9
Sales of aggregates (mt) 45.7 44.5 2.7 2.1
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3 ) 4.4 4.4 0.2 -6.6
Net Sales to external customers (CHFm) 2,645 2,475 6.9 2.8
Recurring EBITDA (pre-IFRS16) (CHFm) 495 470 5.2 1.0

 

RECONCILIATION TO GROUP ACCOUNTS

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

Million CHF H1 2019
(post-IFRS16)
IFRS16 
impact
H1 2019 
(pre-IFRS16)
H1 2018
Net Sales 13,059 0 13,059 13,272
Recurring costs excluding SG&A (9,427) 183 (9,610) (9,666)
Recurring SG&A (1,026) 33 (1,059) (1,335)
Share of profit of joint ventures 272 0 272 213
Recurring EBITDA 2,878 216 2,662 2,484
Depreciation and amortization (1,211) (193) (1,018) (1,104)
Impairment of operating assets (14) 0 (14) (2)
Restructuring, litigation, implementation and other non-recurring costs (71) 0 (71) (300)
Operating profit (EBIT) 1,581 22 1,559 1,078
Profit (loss) on disposal and other non-op items 248 1 247 (52)
Net financial expenses (378) (39) (338) (449)
Share of profit of associates 7 0 7 9
Net Profit (loss) before tax 1,459 (16) 1,475 585
Income tax (330) 4 (335) (191)
Net income (loss) 1,128 (12) 1,140 394


Reconciliation of Net Income before impairment and divestments with Net Income as disclosed in Financial Statements

Million CHF H1 2019
(post-IFRS16)
IFRS16 
impact
H1 2019 
(pre-IFRS16)
H1 2018
Net income (loss) 1,128 (12) 1,140 394
Impairment (23) 0 (23) (1)
Profit (loss) on divestments 265 0 265 (49)
Net income before impairment and divestments  886 (12) 898 444
Net income before impairment and divestments Group share 769 (11) 780 371
Adjustments disclosed net of taxation

 

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

Million CHF H1 2019
(post-IFRS16)
IFRS16 
impact
H1 2019 
(pre-IFRS16)
H1 2018
Cash flow from operating activities 1,067 199 868 53
Purchase of property, plant and equipment (647) 0 (647) (586)
Disposal of property and equipment 41 0 41 61
Free Cash Flow 461 199 262 (473)

 

Reconciliation of net financial debt to consolidated statement of financial position of LafargeHolcim Group

Million CHF H1 2019
(post-IFRS16)
IFRS16 
impact
H1 2019 
(pre-IFRS16)
H1 2018
Current financial liabilities 2,862 284 2,578 4,891
Long-term financial liabilities 12,886 1,026 11,860 13,807
Cash and cash equivalents 3,045 0 3,045 2,466
Short-term derivative assets 29 0 29 66
Long-term derivative assets 25 0 25 38
Net financial debt 12,650 1,310 11,340 16,127

 

NON-GAAP DEFINITIONS

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

 

About LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim is the global leader in building materials and solutions. We are active in four business segments: Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products.

With leading positions in all regions of the world and a balanced portfolio between developing and mature markets, LafargeHolcim offers a broad range of high-quality building materials and solutions. LafargeHolcim experts solve the challenges that customers face around the world, whether they are building individual homes or major infrastructure projects. Demand for LafargeHolcim materials and solutions is driven by global population growth, urbanization, improved living standards and sustainable construction. Around 75,000 people work for the company in around 80 countries.

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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 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.

 

 

1 pre-IFRS16

2 Attributable to shareholders of LafargeHolcim Ltd

3 Before impairment and divestments, pre-IFRS 16

4 Pre-IFRS16 and at constant foreign exchange

 

LafargeHolcim Half-Year Results 2019 Trading Update Conference Audiocast