Imerys posted revenue across its group of
€943.8m ($1.18bn*), and operating income of €127m in
Q3 2014, 2.4% and 2.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) increases,
"On the basis of solid progress since the
beginning of the year we can maintain our objective for income
for 2014 and therefore say that in 2014 we shall deliver as we
have always done," Michel, CEO, said, adding that Imerys
retains its outlook for FY 2104.
In a cautionary note, he said that the group
would "remain quite watchful in the context of demand
development," as Brazil and other emerging countries continue
The non-conventional oilfield sector continued to
expand in the US, a positive trend for the company, as its US,
Wrens, proppants plants came online in Q3 2014.
During a conference call to discuss the results,
Michel answered questions on whether a trend had been seen by
Imerys of producers switching from ceramic proppants to sand,
as outlined by CARBO Ceramics.
"The proppant market and exploration on the
non-conventional oil market is a market in line with the oil
market with the changes in atmosphere, which are quite abrupt,"
"The oil price declined and there has been some
restlessness in the market. One major producer said he had seen
some switch to sand. Is this a structural change? I
don’t believe so and we don’t believe
so," he added.
"In our case we are in a period of ramp up of our
customers’ portfolio and we are acquiring
customers that are switching to ceramics (...) I
don’t see a structural change but I do see
volatility," he said.
Michel explained that he believed Imerys had a
competitive advantage over the many Chinese proppant producers
because of the quality of its products and its foothold in the
North American market.
"There is a degree of uncertainty that we have
seen over the last few months -will this challenge our position
of ramping up? No, not at all," he added.
Plants coming online
As well as the proppants plant, Imerys reported
that its carbon black plant in Belgium and lime plant in Brazil
also came online during the quarter, while the
company’s fused alumina plant in
Bahrain started up in July. Together, these contributed
€55m to Imerys’ revenue stream.
All in all, the acquisitions made in this
business group contributed to increased revenue. In monolithic
refractories this was to the tune of €22.8m from the
Indoporlen plant Imerys bought in June 2013, the Tokai plant it
acquired in July 2013 and Termorak in February 2014.
Termorak, a Finnish company specialising in the
design, trading and installation of refractory materials, last
year had an annual revenue of €17m.
In carbonates, the acquisition of Kinta Powdertec
Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian producer of ground calcium carbonate for
the plastic, polymer and coating industries, is expected to
contribute €5m to annual revenue.
*Conversions made November 2014