Vicat : First-Quarter 2013 Sales up 2.7% at Constant Scope and Exchange Rates

  Vicat : First-Quarter 2013 Sales up 2.7% at Constant Scope and Exchange

Business Wire

PARIS LA DÉFENSE -- April 24, 2013

Regulatory News:

  *Solid business momentum in Kazakhstan, Turkey and the US
  *Continued build-up in business in India where competitive pressure is
  *Unfavourable environment in France and Egypt

The Vicat Group (Paris:VCT) (NYSE Euronext Paris: FR0000031775 – VCT) today
reported its sales for the three months ended March 31, 2013, which amounted
to €491 million, a rise of 1.2% (2.7%, at constant scope and exchange rates).

Consolidated sales by business segment

                  1st quarter  1st quarter  % change
(€ million)       2013         2012         Reported  At constant scope
                                                          and exchange rates
Cement            256          255          +0.2%     +3.1%
Concrete &        175          162          +8.1%     +7.8%
Other Products &  60           68           -11,6%    -10.9%
Total             491          485          +1.2%     +2.7%

Commenting on these figures, the Group's CEO said: "Vicat's sales moved higher
during the first quarter despite unfavourable weather conditions that have
accentuated seasonality of our activity in certain zones.
In this mixed environment, during this year, Vicat intends to confirm the
rightness of its strategy of controlled geographical expansion while reaping
benefits from its capital expenditure policy and its modern production

In this presentation, and unless indicated otherwise, all changes are stated
on a year-on-year basis (2013/2012), on a consolidated basis, and at constant
scope and exchange rates.

Consolidated sales came to €491 million euros in the first quarter of 2013, a
rise of 1.2% by comparison with the same period in 2012. At constant scope and
exchange rates, sales increased by 2.7%.
Over the period, at constant scope and exchange rates, sales rose by 3.1% in
Cement and by 7.8% in Concrete & Aggregates. In Other Products & Services,
sales moved down 10.9%.

The breakdown of operational sales by segment during the first quarter shows a
small dip in the contribution from Cement, which now generates 53.6% of
operational sales compared with 54.3% in the first quarter of 2012. Concrete &
Aggregates accounted for 32.0% of operational sales, compared with 30.8% in
the same year-ago period. Lastly, Other Products & Services contributed 14.4%
of operational sales against 14.9% in the first quarter of 2012.

The main factors underlying the sales trend in the first quarter of 2013 were
the following:

  *a sharp decline in volumes in France, a region that was again hit by poor
    weather and by difficult macro-economic and sector conditions during the
  *another downturn in business in Egypt, owing to security-related troubles,
    despite small signs of improvement in March,
  *the build-up in the Group's business activities in India and Kazakhstan,
  *a significant rebound in volumes in the United States and in Turkey,
  *a generally favourable price climate across all regions other than
    essentially India and West Africa.

1. Consolidated sales for the three months ended March 31, 2013

1.1. France

                    1^st quarter   1^st quarter   % change
(€ million)         2013           2012           Reported  At constant
Consolidated sales  183            198            -7.2%     -7.9%

In France, consolidated sales decreased by 7.9% to €183 million in the first
quarter. The decline during the period, which included two fewer business days
than in the same year-ago period, was due mainly to another extremely harsh
winter and to the downturn in the construction market.

By segment:

  *In the Cement business, sales were down 14.2%. Operational sales (before
    inter-sector eliminations) fell by 8.7%. Volumes declined significantly
    (by 12.0%) during the quarter, owing to poor weather conditions and the
    ending of large projects. Conversely, the average selling price rose
    appreciably in the first three months.
  *In Concrete & Aggregates, sales increased by 1.4%. This business was also
    hard-hit by adverse weather conditions. Against this backdrop, volumes
    increased by nearly 5% in concrete but decreased by about 4% in
    aggregates. The average selling price eroded slightly in concrete but
    moved higher in aggregates.
  *In other Products & Services, sales fell by 16.6%, because of adverse
    weather conditions, which dealt the Transportation and Large Projects
    business a severe blow.

1.2. Europe (excluding France)

                                                % change
(€ million)          1^st quarter   1^st quarter              At constant
                    2013          2012          Reported  scope and
                                                              exchange rates
Consolidated sales  73            74            -1.1%     +0.4%

In Europe, excluding France, sales were stable overall at €73 million in the
first quarter of 2013.

In Switzerland, the Group's sales increased by 1.6% at constant scope and
exchange rates in the first quarter.

  *In Cement, volumes rose by nearly 14%. Selling prices edged down as
    competitive pressures edged up and owing to an unfavourable product mix in
    the early part of the year. Due to these factors, sales increased by 5.4%
    and by 7.2% at constant scope and exchange rates.
  *In Concrete & Aggregates, sales contracted by 4.5% (by 2.9% at constant
    scope and exchange rates). Even so, volumes advanced by 9% in concrete and
    by 6.5% in aggregates, and average selling prices ex-works were stable, on
    the whole.
  *The Prefabrication business registered a 0.4% contraction in sales but an
    increase of 1.3% at constant scope and exchange rates, despite a 2.4%
    volume decline, due primarily to poor weather conditions.

In Italy, sales fell by 12.5%. The steady increase in selling prices,
resulting from the targeted marketing policy and growth in export sales, did
not offset the 19.5% drop in volumes in a domestic market that remains highly
challenging, coupled with adverse weather conditions.

1.3. United States

                                                % change
(€ million)          1^st quarter   1^st quarter              At constant
                    2013          2012          Reported  scope and
                                                              exchange rates
Consolidated sales  46            41            +12.4%    +13.9%

In the United States, sales growth remained robust in a healthy macro-economic
climate. The uptrend in volumes has been confirmed in each of the last four
quarters and is expected to continue, together with marked rises in selling
prices. Against this backdrop, the Group's sales rose by 13.9% compared with
the first quarter of 2012.

  *In the Cement business, sales expanded by 13.7%. In keeping with the
    trends that emerged at the end of 2012, volumes continued to advance (up
    12.7%), with strong growth in California (up 22%) driven by the early
    start-up of infrastructure projects. In this region, selling prices were
    stable overall by comparison with the first quarter of 2012, and prices
    are expected to increase in April. In the South-East, despite rather poor
    weather, volumes edged up by 2% in a favourable pricing environment.
  *In the Concrete business, sales were up 14.0%. This trend reflects a
    significant improvement in volumes (up 9.3%), underpinned by growth in
    both the South-East and in California. Selling prices during the first
    quarter of 2013 were up in both regions by comparison with the same
    year-ago period.

1.4. Turkey, India, Kazakhstan

                                                % change
(€ million)          1^st quarter   1^st quarter              At constant
                    2013          2012          Reported  scope and
                                                              exchange rates
Consolidated sales  101           77            +32.4%    +38.0%

Sales for the region jumped by 38.0% to €101 million.

In Turkey, sales rose by an impressive 84% to €45 million. In a context of
strong economic growth, the Group, as the whole of the industry, benefited
from better weather conditions than in the first quarter of 2012.

  *In Cement, the Group's sales surged by 86%. This growth was driven by a
    74% jump in volumes coupled with a solid advance in selling prices.
  *In Concrete & Aggregates, sales also rose sharply, by nearly 81%. In this
    business as well, volumes were driven up by a favourable base effect from
    weather conditions and by the start-up of several large housing projects.
    As in Cement, selling prices in this business remained healthy.

In India, sales totalled €44 million in the first quarter of 2013, up 10.6% at
constant scope and exchange rates. During the quarter, the Vicat Sagar and
Bharathi Cement plants both continued their build up The Group benefited from
the “Bharathi Cement” brand for all of its products and again boosted its
cement volumes, by over 20% to nearly 694,000 tonnes for the quarter. Selling
prices continued to experience high volatility during the first quarter.

In Kazakhstan, where the weather was favourable and major infrastructure work
continued during the quarter, the Group stepped up its deployment in this
high-potential market. Sales generated over the period rose by 43.2% to €12.4
million, with volume growth of 23.2%, in a favourable price climate.

1.5. Africa and Middle East

                                                % change
(€ million)          1^st quarter   1^st quarter              At constant
                    2013          2012          Reported  scope and
                                                              exchange rates
Consolidated sales  87            96            -9.6%     -6.7%

In the Africa and Middle East region, sales declined by 6.7% to €87 million.

  *In Egypt, sales fell by 10.6% to €22.8 million. This was due to a sharp
    contraction in volumes, which dropped by more than 22%. During the first
    two months of the year, the Group's business was again affected by a tense
    security context, however the situation improved during the month of
    March. Meanwhile, selling prices have increased appreciably since the
    beginning of the year. Lastly, since gas supplies were restored at the
    beginning of October 2012, operating performance has improved steadily.
  *In West Africa, sales were down 5.1%, despite volumes being well oriented,
    due to persistent pricing pressures in Senegal. During the quarter,
    volumes registered solid growth in the Senegalese and Malian domestic
    markets, which offset the fall in export shipments to other countries. The
    solid momentum seen in the domestic market is expected to continue in 2013
    under the combined effects of improved economic conditions and the
    anticipated recovery in large projects.

2. Sales for the three months ended March 31, 2013 by business segment

2.1. Cement

                     1^st quarter  1^st     % change
(€ million)          2013          quarter  Reported  At constant scope
                                     2012                 and exchange rates
Volume (thousands     4,099          3,794     +8.0%    
of tonnes)
Operational sales     304            299       +1.8%      +4.3%
Eliminations          (48)           (44)
Consolidated sales   256           255      +0.2%     +3.1%

2.2. Concrete & Aggregates

                               1^st     1^st     % change
(€ million)                     quarter   quarter              At constant
                               2013     2012     Reported  scope and
                                                               exchange rates
Concrete volumes (in            1,798     1,477     +21.7%   
thousands of m^3)
Aggregates volumes (in          4,728     4,293     +10.1%
thousands of tonnes)
Operational sales               181       170       +6.7%      +6.5%
Eliminations                    (6)       (8)
Consolidated sales             175      162      +8.1%     +7.8%

2.3 Other Products & Services

                                                % change
(€ million)          1^st quarter   1^st quarter              At constant
                    2013          2012          Reported  scope and
                                                              exchange rates
Operational sales    82             82             +0.4%     +0.3%
Eliminations         (22)           (14)
Consolidated sales  60            68            -11.6%    -10.9%

3. Change in consolidated financial position at March 31, 2013

The Group notes that, historically, the first quarter has not been
representative of financial performance over the full year.

Net debt amounted to 52% of consolidated shareholders' equity at March 31,
2013 compared with 46% at December 31, 2012, thereby confirming the Vicat
Group's financial strength.

Given the level of the Group's net debt, bank covenants do not pose a threat
either to the Group's financial position or to its balance sheet liquidity. At
December 31, 2013, Vicat comfortably met all the ratios in the covenants laid
down in financing agreements.

4. 2013 Outlook

Vicat Sagar's greenfield plant in India started its industrial operations in
December 2012, bringing to an end the Vicat Group's ambitious investment
programme. This programme has considerably increased the Group's geographical
diversification and laid the foundations for long-term profitable growth.

The Group now intends to take advantage of its strong market positions, the
quality of its production facilities and its strict cost control, with the aim
of gradually maximising cash flow and reducing debt, before starting a new
phase of its international development strategy.

For 2013, the Group wishes to provide the following comments concerning its
various markets:

  *In France, the Group expects the economic and sector environment to remain
    difficult in 2013, particularly in the first half. This should lead to a
    further fall in volumes, with prices remaining favourable.
  *In Switzerland, the overall operating environment is likely to remain
    positive, with volumes expected to improve slightly.
  *In Italy, the Group expects the situation to improve after a tough year in
    2012. Given current levels of cement consumption, volumes should gradually
    stabilise and selling prices should recover.
  *In the United States, the Group expects its markets to continue improving
    in terms of both volumes and prices.
  *In Turkey, last year's improvement in the sector environment is likely to
    continue in 2013. The Group should be able to take full advantage of its
    efficient production facilities and strong market positions.
  *In Egypt, the market should remain buoyant in terms of volumes and prices
    evolution is expected to be favourable. The Group remains confident about
    the positive performance of the Egyptian market in the medium and long
  *In West Africa, volumes should continue to rise. In the circumstances, the
    Group will continue its efforts to use its modern, efficient production
    base to expand sales across the whole West Africa region.
  *In India, Vicat Sagar's greenfield plant launched its industrial
    operations in late 2012. The resulting increase in sales in the first half
    of 2013, along with the ongoing build-up at Bharathi Cement, will
    gradually make the Group a major player in Southern India. With its
    stronger market position and its modern, efficient production facilities,
    the Vicat Group should benefit from a buoyant construction market in 2013,
    although prices are likely to remain volatile.
  *In Kazakhstan, the Group's ideal geographical location and highly
    effective production base should enable it to take full advantage of a
    market poised for solid growth in the construction and infrastructure
    sectors, in what is expected to remain a supportive pricing environment.

5. Conference call

To accompany the publication of the Group's first-quarter 2013 sales, Vicat is
holding a conference call in English that will take place on Thursday, April
25, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Paris time (2:00 p.m. London time and 9:00 a.m. New York

To take part in the conference call live, dial one of the following numbers:
France: +33(0)1 70 99 42 86
United Kingdom: +44(0)20 7136 6283
United States: +1 718 971 5738

To listen to a playback of the conference call, which will be available until
midnight on May 10, 2013, dial one of the following numbers:
France: +33 (0)1 74 20 28 00
United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 3427 0598
United States: +1 347 366 9565

Access code: 8249758#

Next date for shareholders:
April 26, 2013 (2:00 p.m.): Annual General Meeting of the Shareholders

Next publication:
August 6, 2013 (after the market closes): first-half 2013 sales and earnings

The Vicat Group has over 7,500 employees working in three core divisions,
Cement, Concrete & Aggregates and Other Products & Services, which generated
consolidated sales of €2,292 million in 2012.
The Group operates in eleven countries: France, Switzerland, Italy, the United
States, Turkey, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Kazakhstan and India. Nearly
62% of its sales are generated outside France.
The Vicat Group is the heir to an industrial tradition dating back to 1817,
when Louis Vicat invented artificial cement. Founded in 1853, the Vicat Group
now operates three core lines of business: Cement, Ready-Mixed Concrete and
Aggregates, as well as related activities.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. Such
forward-looking statements do not constitute forecasts regarding results or
any other performance indicator, but rather trends or targets.
These statements are by their nature subject to risks and uncertainties as
described in the Company’s annual report available on its website
( These statements do not reflect the future performance of the
Company, which may differ significantly. The Company does not undertake to
provide updates of these statements.
Further information about Vicat is available from its website (

Vicat Group – Financial Information– Appendix

Breakdown of sales for the three months ended March 31, 2013 by business
segment & geographical region

(€ thousand)   Cement   Concrete &   Products  Inter-sector  Consolidated
                          Aggregates    &          eliminations   sales
France         81,593   91,381       51,635    -41,179       183,430
(excluding      35,516    26,235        20,580     -9,365         72,966
USA             19,930    33,368                   -6,866         46,432
India,          85,430    24,380        9,510      -17,942        101,378
Africa &       81,801   5,914                 -796          86,919
Middle East
Operational    304,270  181,278      81,725    -76,148       491,125
Inter-sector   -48,585  -6,237       -21,326   76,148        
Consolidated   255,685  175,041      60,399                 491,125


TEL: +33 (0)1 58 86 86 86
FAX: +33 (0)1 58 86 87 88




Investor relations contact:
Stéphane Bisseuil: Tel. + 33 (0) 1 58 86 86 13
Press contacts:
Clotilde Huet: +33 (0) 1 58 86 86 26
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