North America: Good performance in the United States drives Group region’s results

Solid economic rebound

Following a slow-paced recovery in 2013, the United States’ economy rebounded strongly in the course of the year under review. A decline in private debt, improved corporate liquidity, and improved unemployment data contributed to the positive development. With the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis uncertainty was considerably lower than in the previous year.

Canada’s economy recorded stronger growth than in 2013, fueled by the commercial sector rather than residential construction as in previous years. Supported by the favorable development in the United States, Canada also benefited from increased exports, which led to higher commercial investment. Public investment also increased.

Broad-based recovery of the construction sector in the United States

Following a slow start into the year 2014, influenced by the harsh winter and delayed construction in many markets, building activity in the United States was more dynamic and broad-based. While residential projects remained a driver - albeit a less intense one - for solid demand in building materials, the commercial sector supported the recovery more strongly than in 2013. Public investment however continued to be on a low level, reflecting tighter government spending.

2014 was another challenging year for Canada’s construction industry. The housing market remained under pressure, and housing starts were below levels of 2013. However, the non-residential sector showed solid momentum, mainly driven by investment in healthcare and education, natural resources projects, transit system improvements, and power generation projects.

Consolidated key figures North America

 

2014

2013

±%

±% LFL*

*

Like-for-like, i.e. factoring out changes in the scope of consolidation and currency translation effects.

Production capacity cement in million t

21.9

22.0

–0.1

 

Cement and grinding plants

17

17

 

 

Aggregates plants

86

116

 

 

Ready-mix concrete plants

148

221

 

 

Asphalt plants

33

42

 

 

Sales of cement in million t

13.0

11.7

+11.4

+11.4

Sales of mineral components in million t

1.4

1.3

+6.5

+6.5

Sales of aggregates in million t

45.7

42.8

+6.8

+7.7

Sales of ready-mix concrete in million m3

7.2

7.5

–4.1

+2.2

Sales of asphalt in million t

4.5

4.1

+9.9

+9.9

Net sales in million CHF

3,336

3,171

+5.2

+10.7

Operating EBITDA in million CHF

600

494

+21.5

+26.0

Operating EBITDA margin in %

18.0

15.6

 

 

Operating profit in million CHF

314

199

+58.3

+65.1

Operating profit margin in %

9.4

6.3

 

 

Personnel

6,777

6,791

–0.2

+1.4