03 August 2023

Interim results at 30 June 2023

Sales volumes slowing down compared to the first half of 2022, both for cement (-8.3%) and ready-mix concrete (-12.3%)

Rather weak demand in Central Europe, Poland and the Czech Republic, more solid, instead, in Italy and the United States

The favorable price effect allowed to achieve a clear improvement of Ebitda margin across the markets where we operate, although production costs continued to increase

Consolidated net sales at €2,150 million (+14.3%) and Ebitda at €575 million (+57.6%). Favorable foreign exchange effect of €8.1 million on sales and of €4.8 million on Ebitda

Guidance for the whole of 2023 revised upwards. Recurring Ebitda expected at €1,100-1,200 million


Consolidated data   Jan-Jun 23 Jan-Jun 22 % 23/22
Cement and clinker sales t/000 13,057 14,233 -8.3%
Ready-mix concrete sales m3/000 5,116 5,831 -12.3%
Net sales €/m 2,150 1,880 +14.3%
Ebitda €/m 575 365  +57.6%
Ebitda recurring €/m 572 365 +56.6%
Consolidated net profit €/m 431 89 n.s.
    Jun 23 Dec 22 Change
Net financial position €/m 412 288 124


The Board of Directors of Buzzi SpA has met today to examine the interim financial report as at 30 June 2023.

During the first half of 2023, global economic activity continued to be penalized by the persistence of inflation and by further restrictive monetary and financial conditions. In particular, in the second quarter, despite a lively trend in the services sector, the performance of the manufacturing segment was still weak and contributed to limiting the growth prospects of international trade. In spring, consumer price inflation slowed down, thanks to the decrease in the energy component, although it remained at historically high levels. The decline in inflation was more evident in industrial goods, which incorporated the trend of energy prices. However, despite this slowdown both in the Eurozone and in the United States, the dynamics of the core component remained persistent, influenced by the acceleration in the prices of services. According to the latest OECD forecasts, the global economy is estimated to grow by 2.7% in 2023, slightly lower than the expectations at the beginning of the year. Prospects continue to be negatively affected by persistent inflation and the consequent restrictive orientation of monetary policies in the major advanced economies, as well as by the uncertainty associated with the continuation of geopolitical tensions on a global scale, first of all the ongoing conlict in Ukraine.

In the United States, after a first quarter of growth, thanks to the positive dynamics of domestic consumption and non-residential investments, consumer spending has weakened starting from April and the labor market, while remaining solid, slowed down its pace of growth.
In the Eurozone, in the first three months, GDP growth was still negative, reflecting a general weakness in domestic demand, while the dynamics of investments, especially in construction, recovered. In the first quarter, GDP grew in France and, to a greater extent, in Italy and Spain, while Germany confirmed the unfavorable economic situation which has already been underway at the end of 2022. In spring, the weakness of the manufacturing sector worsened, with industrial production in April and May being 1.4% lower than the average for the first quarter.
In Italy, after the development recorded at the start to the year, supported by domestic consumption and the expansion of investments, GDP growth essentially came to a halt during the second quarter, due to the slowdown in manufacturing production.
As far as emerging markets are concerned, in Mexico the economy continued to be supported by the expansion of domestic consumption, favored by the strengthening of employment and wages. However, activity in manufacturing slowed down during the second quarter due to the weakening of growth in the main trading partners, above all the United States.
In Brazil, the slowdown of the economy was also confirmed in the April-June period due to the further weakening of consumption and investments.

The weakness of the global economic cycle contributed to a slowdown in energy factor prices. The decisions to cut oil production announced by the main producing countries during the second quarter and being valid until the end of 2024 had a limited impact on crude oil prices, which was influenced more by the cooling of the economy and global trade. The price of natural gas on the TTF market also eased during the spring, reflecting the moderate trend in industrial consumption and the large level of inventories.

The monetary policies of the main central banks confirmed their restrictive stance during the second quarter of the current year. In May, the Federal Reserve further increased the benchmark rate by 25 basis points, while in June it decided to keep rates unchanged, although showing itself open to the possibility of further increases in the following months. In May and June, the ECB raised rates by 25 basis points, confirming that the policy will continue to remain restrictive until inflation returns close to the medium-term objective. In Latin America, the Bank of Mexico decided in June to interrupt the rate hike in force since January 2022, thanks to the appreciation of the peso and to lower inflationary pressures. Always in June, the Central Bank of Brazil confirmed its decision to keep rates unchanged, at still high levels.

Consolidated net sales for the half-year, therefore, made strong progress reaching €2,149.6 million against €1,880.0 million in 2022, while Ebitda improved by 57.6% from €365.1 million to €575.3 million. The currency movements had a positive net impact of €8.1 million on turnover and €4.8 million on Ebitda. Net of foreign exchange fluctuations, net sales and Ebitda would have increased by 13.9% and 56.3% respectively.

Operating and financial performance
At consolidated level cement sales for the first six months of 2023 came in at 13.1 million tons, down 8.3% compared to the same period of 2022. The decline already noted at the beginning of the year was also confirmed in the following three months. The steadiness of volumes in Italy, Ukraine and Russia was not able to compensate for the slowdown observed in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and to some extent in the United States. Ready-mix concrete output throughout June was also below the level achieved last year, reaching 5.1 million cubic meters (-12.3% versus 2022). In this sector, the development was particularly negative in Central and Eastern Europe, while in Italy and the United States the decline was more limited.

Consolidated Ebitda stood at €575.3 million, up 57.6% compared to €365.1 million of the previous year. The figure for the period under review includes non-recurring income of €3.6 million. Excluding the non-recurring items, Ebitda rose from €365.1 to €571.6 million, with Ebitda to sales margin standing at 26.6% (19.4% in 2022). The recurring Ebitda margin of the first six months improved in all the markets where the group operates. Production and distribution costs showed a further generalized increase compared to the abnormal industry inflation recorded in 2022. However, thanks to the favorable trend in prices, the results achieved up to the middle of the financial year can be considered as excellent. After amortization of €128.4 million, versus €124.5 million in 2022, Ebit came in at €447.1 million, quite better compared to €118.1 million in 2022, impacted by impairment of non-current assets equal to €122.4 million. Profit before tax amounted to €552.9 million, (€119.8 million in the previous year), considering a contribution of €80.6 million from equity earnings (€57.6 million in 2022) and positive net finance costs of €24.9 million (they were €56.0 million negative in 2022). After income taxes of €121.7 million (€31.2 million in 2022) the income statement closed with a net profit of €431.2 million (€88.7 million in the first half of 2022).

Net sales breakdown by geographical area is as follows:

million euro 2023 2022 ∆ % ∆ % lfl
Italy 424.1 357.9 +18.5 +18.5
United States of America 846.8 726.5 +16.6 +15.2
Germany 441.3 392.9 +12.3 +12.3
Luxembourg and Netherlands 115.8 116.4 -0.5 -0.5
Czech Republic and Slovakia 102.8 96.7 +6.4 +2.6
Poland 76.6 68.4 +11.9 +11.7
Ukraine 35.1 28.3 +23.9 +54.3
Russia 142.8 114.3 +25.0 +22.3
Eliminations (35.6) (21.4)    
  2,149.6 1,880.0 +14.3 +13.9
Mexico (100%) 500.2 353.1 +41.7 +25.6
Brazil (100%) 189.7 179.6 +5.7 +4.2


At period-end the consolidated net financial position had a positive balance of €412.0 million (€288.2 million at year-end 2022). In the six months under review the group refunded in advance its €500 million Eurobond, paid dividends to the shareholders of €81.1 million and paid total capital expenditures of €148.4 million. Investments devoted to environmental performance improvements and to the decarbonization of production process, among which projects to increase the production of cements with a lower clinker content, the usage of alternative fuels and the in-house production of electricity are included, amounted to approximately €20 million.

Our hydraulic binders and clinker sales were stable in the first six months of the year (-0.3%), thanks to the recovery recorded in the second quarter. Ready-mix concrete output, on the other hand, contracted, albeit moderately (-2.5%). Selling prices closed the half-year without any significant changes compared to the level reached at the end of 2022 but, thanks to the carry-over effect, they still result better than last year.
Net sales in Italy came in at €424.1 million, up 18.5% (€357.9 million in 2022). Ebitda achieved €98.5 million, more than doubled compared to €35.6 million of last year. However, it should be remembered that the six-month period still benefited from the tax credit effect dedicated to energy-intensive companies, introduced by the so-called “Decreto Sostegni-ter”, which generated a benefit of around €12 million (€13 million in 2022). The unit production costs showed an overall favorable change, above all as regards the energy component, nonetheless remaining at very high levels.

United States of America
Our cement sales, which have already been slowing down in the first quarter, were also negative in the following three months, penalized by unfavorable weather conditions in certain regions and by the general slowdown in demand, as well as delays in some projects. The first six months closed with volumes down 3.6% compared to the 2022 level. Selling prices, in local currency, confirmed the increase already recorded at the end of the first quarter. Ready-mix concrete output, essentially present in Texas, decreased by 4.1%, also penalized by the lack of personnel assigned to distribution (truck drivers). Conversely, selling prices further strengthened during the second quarter, showing good year-on-year development.
Net sales thus reached €846.8 million, up 16.6% compared to €726.5 million of 2022. The appreciation of the dollar (+1.2%) had a positive impact on the translation of results into euro. Ebitda increased from €180.6 to €256.9 million (+42.3%). At constant exchange rates net sales would have increased by 15.2%, while Ebitda would have been up 40.6%. The unit production costs, in comparison with the same period of 2022, showed an unfavorable change, both in the variable component and, even more clearly, in the fixed one.

Central Europe
In Germany, during the first half of the year, in line with the development of demand in the country, our cement volumes sold showed a rather negative trend (-19.0%) compared to 2022.
At the same time, the ready-mix concrete sector also recorded sharp declining volumes (-21.9%). Selling prices, on the other hand, confirmed in absolute value the improvement level achieved at the end of the first quarter, both for cement and ready-mix concrete.
Overall net sales thus increased from €392.9 to €441.3 million (+12.3%) while Ebitda increased from €64.5 to €100.1 million (+55.2%). The figure benefited from non-recurring income of 3.6 million. Unit production costs grew sharply, due to the increase in spending on fuel and power, both of which almost doubled. 

In Luxembourg and the Netherlands our cement deliveries were still markedly weak also during the second quarter, due to the generalized drop in demand, closing the half-year clearly declining (-39.0%). Production volumes in the ready-mix concrete sector also contracted but to a lesser extent (-13.9%). Selling prices, in both sectors, instead showed significant growth, aimed at offsetting the higher production costs.
Net sales came in at €115.8 million, stable compared to the previous year (€116.4 million). Ebitda stood at €12.6 million, increasing compared to €4.8 million in 2022. The rise in unit production costs is mainly attributable to the energy component, which almost doubled compared to 2022).

Eastern Europe
In the Czech Republic cement sales, after a first quarter clearly contracting, were still weak also in the following three months, closing the first half-year down 16.7%, reflecting the generalized contraction of demand. Selling prices, in local currency, considerably increased. The ready-mix concrete sector, which includes Slovakia, recorded similar dynamics (-18.5%) with selling prices clearly increasing too.
Consolidated net sales amounted to €102.8 million (€96.7 million in 2022, +6.4%) and Ebitda increased from €29.4 to €33.6 million (+14.6%). The appreciation of the Czech koruna (+3.9%) had a positive impact on the translation of the results into euro: at constant exchange rates, the variance of net sales would have been 2.6%, while the one of Ebitda 10.2%. Energy costs, mainly those related to the electricity component, sharply increased, while fixed items did not change significantly. 

In Poland our cement sales volumes confirmed the slowdown also during the second quarter, closing the first six months as a whole down 12.7%. In the ready-mix concrete sector, the trend was similar (-12.9%). Selling prices, in general, showed a very favorable development.
In the first six months of 2023 net sales increased from €68.4 to €76.6 million (+11.9%). Ebitda also increased from €17.6 to €22.7 million (+28.8%). The zloty did not register significant changes during the reference period and, consequently, at constant exchange rates both net sales and Ebitda would have in any case improved by 11.7% and 28.5% respectively. The rise in production costs, driven upwards mainly by a surge in fuel and power prices, was evident. 

In Ukraine during the second quarter, after a particularly negative start to the year, our sales volumes rebounded, also thanks to the comparison with last year, when production activity had stopped for a few months with the beginning of the conflict. Overall, the half-year closed with volumes up 22.0%. The trend in the ready-mix concrete sector, on the other hand, was negative (-9.3%). In general, selling prices showed a marked increase, driven by inflation.
Net sales stood at €35.1 million, up compared to €28.3 million achieved in 2022. Despite the recovery, production activity was still impacted by operational difficulties. In this context, Ebitda managed to offset the higher operational costs, achieving €2.3 million (it was negative and equal to €3.5 million in 2022). The depreciation of the local currency (-24.5%) had a further unfavorable impact on the translation of the results into euro.

On 20 June 2023, Buzzi reached an agreement with CRH regarding the sale of its business in Ukraine. The completion of the transaction is subject to the granting of the required regulatory approvals and is expected to take place during 2024. We specify that at the balance sheet date the value of net assets in Ukraine amounts to €13 million.

In Russia, due to the sanctions imposed on the country by the European institutions, starting from May 2022 we have ceased any operational involvement in the activity carried out by the subsidiary SLK Cement. Consequently, decisions relating to the investment can only be taken through the shareholders' meeting and are limited to those which, according to the Commercial Code of Russia, are the responsibility of this body, as well as to decisions of an extraordinary nature as defined in the bylaws. Further strategic initiatives in the country have been suspended. The information available to us regarding the trend of demand and the construction market is, therefore, very limited. At the balance sheet date, the asset value of net assets in Russia amounts to €301 million.
In the period under review, net sales amounted to €142.8 million, up compared to €114.3 million of the previous year (+25.0%), while Ebitda increased from €36.0 to €48.4 million (+34.6%). The marginal appreciation of the ruble (+2.1%) favorably influenced the translation of the results into euro: at constant exchange rates, net sales and Ebitda would have been up 22.3% and 31.7% respectively.

Mexico (valued by the equity method)
The sales of our joint venture, which were already progressing at the end of the first quarter, continued to be positive in the following three months, closing the six-month period clearly improving (+12.5%). Prices, in local currency, also increased progressively. In the ready-mix concrete sector, sales improved (+8.1%), with prices growing. 
Net sales, referring to 100% of the joint venture, stood at €500.2 million, up 41.7% on the previous year, while Ebitda came in at €227.3 million, up compared to €149.5 million of 2022. The Mexican peso showed a clear appreciation of 11.4%. At constant exchange rates net sales and Ebitda would have been up 25.6% and 34.7% respectively. The unit production costs marginally worsened, penalized by the unfavorable development of fixed items, while expenditure on fuel and electric power did not record significant changes.
The equity earnings referring to Mexico, included in the line item that encompasses the investments valued by the equity method, amount to €52.3 million (€34.6 million in 2022).

Brazil (valued by the equity method)
The sales of our joint venture closed the half-year slightly contracting (-2.3%). In the north-east area development was positive, while in the south-east we recorded a moderate slowdown, mainly due to a long period of abundant rains. Selling prices, in local currency, improved instead.
Net sales stood at €189.7 million, +5.7% compared to €179.6 million of the previous year, while Ebitda reached €38.3 million, declining compared to €46.6 million of 2022. The appreciation of the Brazilian real impacted on the translation of the results into euro (+1.3%): at constant exchange rates, net sales would have been up 4.2% and Ebitda down 18.9%. The unit production costs worsened, mainly influenced by the unfavorable variance in fixed items, in particular maintenance costs.
The equity earnings referring to Brazil, included in the line item that encompasses the investments valued by the equity method, amount to €14.2 million (17.6 million in 2022). 

During the first half of 2023, despite a contraction in activity for the building sector, our operating results were very positive, thanks to the effectiveness of commercial efforts aimed at maintaining selling prices at levels capable of fully offsetting the higher production costs. In this context, in addition to the strengthening of the operating result in absolute terms, we also witnessed a strong recovery in the Ebitda margin, which came back to the levels of the years preceding the 2008 financial crisis.

The most recent forecasts indicate that activity in the construction sector will remain generally subdued also during the second half of 2023, influenced by the increased uncertainty of the dynamics of private investments and by higher financing costs. Looking at the development of sales volumes in our markets, according to the visibility available to us, we expect a stable trend both in Italy, thanks to the positive contribution of the infrastructure development plans, and in the United States, supported by the good order backlog and by the early examples of construction sites for projects related to the Building a Better America plan (signed in November 2021). In Central Europe, the Czech Republic and Poland, on the other hand, we believe that the generalized weakness of demand will persist in the second half of the year, making a clear recovery in sales volumes very difficult.

Based on the excellent evolution of the first six months and on the considerations expressed above, we believe that the current year could end with markedly better results than the ones achieved in 2022, thanks to the upward drive in selling prices and to a trend in production costs being certainly still characterized by high volatility, but more favorable than initially assumed. We therefore expect to achieve a recurring Ebitda for the entire financial year 2023 equal to €1,100-1,200 million.

Senior Notes and Bonds
In the period from 1 January to 30 June 2023 no new bonds were issued. On 28 January 2023, the full advance repayment of the €500 million Eurobond “Buzzi Unicem €500,000,000 2.125% Notes due 2023” issued in 2016 was executed.


The manager responsible for preparing the company’s financial reports, Elisa Bressan, declares, pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 154 bis of the Consolidated Law on Finance, that the accounting information contained in this press release corresponds to the document results, books and accounting records.

Company contacts:
Investor Relations Assistant
Ileana Colla
Phone. +39 0142 416 404


Buzzi H1 2023 results will be illustrated during a conference call to be held today, Thursday 3 August, at 04:30 pm CEST. To join the conference, please dial +39 02 802 09 11, from UK +44 1212 818 004, from USA +1 718 7058 796.

Press release 03 08 23