LafargeHolcim decreases debt, increases North American sales in 2019

LafargeHolcim CEO Jan Jenisch described 2019 as “a very successful year,” noting that the company achieved record results in operating profit, net income, EPS, and free cash flow. “Our sharp decrease in net debt has significantly strengthened our balance sheet,” he added in a press release. “We have achieved all our targets for 2019 and have moved our company to a new level of performance.”

Midway through its Strategy 2022 “Building for Growth,” the company has achieved almost all of its 2022 targets. It significantly strengthened its balance sheet and is now well positioned to continue growing profitably with strong market positions in all regions. It also completed eight bolt-on acquisitions in the ready-mix and aggregates markets in 2019.

LafargeHolcim had 2019 net sales of $27.9 billion, which grew 3.1 on a like-for-like basis, driven by growth in Europe and North America, good prices dynamics across all business segments, and higher prices in most markets.

Recurring EBITDA reached $6.4 billion, up 6.5 percent on a like-for-like full year. Contributing to the increase is a $418 million SG&A cost savings program. Net debt was reduced by $4.9 billion.

From a global perspective, aggregate sales were down 3.1 percent to 269.9 million tons in 2019, while cement sales were down 6.3 percent to 207.9 million tons and ready-mixed concrete sales were also down 6.3 percent to 47.7 million cubic meters.

In North America, aggregate sales were up 3.6 percent to 113.5 million tons, cement sales were up 5.3 percent to 20.8 million tons, and ready-mixed concrete sales were up 7.6 percent to 10.2 million cubic meters.

U.S. Concrete acquires New York-based Coram Materials for $142 million

U.S. Concrete, Inc. completed the acquisition of Coram Materials Corp. for a purchase price of $142 million and significantly expanded its East Coast aggregates reserves. “The acquisition should produce a margin profile in excess of the company’s average within the first full year of ownership,” said William J. Sandbrook, chairman and CEO, in a press release. “Post synergies, which we expect to achieve within two years, the deal represents a multiple of approximately seven times EBITDA.”

The acquisition includes significant, premium sand reserves that will not only supply U.S. Concrete’s ready-mix operation in New York City, but also allow for external sales to third-party customers. “Coram’s 50 million tons of reserves, located in the quickly depleting Long Island sand market, increases the vertical integration of our New York operations, strengthens our competitive position, and advances the continuation of our strategy of expanding into higher margin aggregates businesses,” Sandbrook noted. “Following our successful Polaris acquisition, we continue to seek out accretive opportunities of coupling the pull through capabilities of our large regional footprints of ready-mixed concrete operations with attractive aggregate assets.”