North American market proving stronger for HeidelbergCement

By |  July 30, 2020
Using Trelar's platform, Lehigh Hanson expects its carriers will be able to schedule their deliveries and availability, as well as improve their cash flow. Photo: P&Q Staff

North American aggregate sales volumes were down 3.5 percent at HeidelbergCement Group in the second quarter. Photo: P&Q Staff

Second-quarter aggregate sales volumes were down within all of HeidelbergCement’s global groups, but the North American market did not experience the steep quarterly declines of other markets.

Companywide, HeidelbergCement sold 74.7 million metric tons (Mt) of aggregate in the second quarter. That figure is down 10 percent compared with the second quarter of 2019.

HeidelbergCement’s global sales volumes of aggregate are down 7 percent through the first six months of the year.

Additional perspective

The company’s performance in North America is a better one, though. Aggregate sales were down just 3.5 percent, with HeidelbergCement selling 33.7 Mt in the second quarter. On the year, North American aggregate sales volumes are down 2.2 percent.

HeidelbergCement saw second-quarter aggregate sales volumes drop more dramatically in other global groups, including in the Africa-Eastern Mediterranean Basin (35.6 percent), in Western and Southern Europe (17.5 percent) and in Asia-Pacific (16.7 percent). Aggregate sales volumes were also down within the company’s Northern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia group, although volumes were only down 4.2 percent.

Overall, the company’s quarterly revenue dropped 13 percent, and revenue is down 10 percent through the year’s first six months.

“In the face of unprecedented challenges, we performed very well in the first half of 2020,” says Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing board at HeidelbergCement. “In the second quarter, revenue dropped in many countries – in some cases by double-digit percentages. Nevertheless, we achieved a good result, which was almost at the previous year’s level.”

According to HeidelbergCement, construction activities gradually recovered in most countries over the course of the second quarter. Still, the company says the outlook for the second half of 2020 remains uncertain.

“We have made a solid start into the third quarter,” von Achten says. “We will maintain our focus on cost savings and preserving liquidity. With the good result in the second quarter, we’ve proven that we will weather the crisis well. However, development in the construction industry remains highly dynamic. Every day, we are seeing how quickly the situation can change in terms of COVID-19 measures. It therefore remains difficult to provide an outlook for the year.”

HeidelbergCement is one of the world’s largest producers of aggregate, cement and ready-mixed concrete, employing about 54,000 people in more than 3,000 locations across 50-plus countries.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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