Quarry Southern Africa November 2018 - Page 11

GLOBAL NEWS Cemex has announced that it plans to sell up to USD2-billion worth of assets by the end of 2020, following an earlier announcement by LafargeHolcim that it also plans to divest from selected assets worth up to USD2-billion as part of its Strategy 2022. Therefore potentially USD4-billion of cement production infrastructure will be on sale over the next few years. In the second half of 2018 both companies plan to announce their planned divestments, which could be as many as 16 units. Prices vary considerably at the moment with potentially USD250-million per integrated plant. Cemex’s weaker areas in its half-year report were its South, Central America and the Caribbean region and, to www.quarryonline.co.za  a lesser extent, its European region. The former reported falling sales, cement volumes and earnings. The latter reported falling earnings on a like-for-like basis with issues noted across cement, ready- mix concrete and aggregate business lines in the UK. In Central and South America, problems were noted in Colombia due to a 10% fall in cement sales in the first half. Another operation which may be affected is Cemex Croatia, which the company attempted to sell to HeidelbergCement and Schwenk Zement in 2017, before the European Commission put an end to discussions. CEO Fernando Gonzalez is on record as saying that the company had faced ‘headwinds’ in the Philippines, Egypt and Colombia, particularly in Cemex joins the divestment party Cemex is starting a process of divestment. relation to fuel prices. He also says that Cemex had finished its market analysis, that it knew exactly which assets it would like to sell already and that it was in ‘execution’ mode. In Gonzalez’s own words, “We do have a number of assets to be divested, either because they are low growth, or because they are not necessarily integrated to other business lines.” LafargeHolcim CEO Jan Jenisch has refused to comment on rumours that the company is leaving Indonesia, though local production overcapacity, falling earnings and profits and an underperforming but still sparky market make it a potential candidate. Other potential locations for LafargeHolcim to leave might include Brazil and parts of the Middle East and Africa. Brazil’s cement market recovery has been a few years coming. The Middle East Africa area was the worst performing region in LafargeHolcim’s mid-year results with problems noted in South Africa.  QUARRY SA | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018_11