2015 was the best year for HeidelbergCement since the financial crisis. We were able to substantially increase oper ating income, profit for the financial year, and earnings per share. We have significantly reduced net debt, and for the first time since the financial crisis earned a premium on the cost of capital once again.
Profit for the financial year rose by 43 % to €983 million.
- Dividend per share increased by 73 % to €1.30.
In 2015, HeidelbergCement set new strategic points of focus: “shareholder returns” and “continuous growth”. In specific terms, this means that we now intend to put the emphasis of capital allocation on higher income for our shareholders and growth opportunities.
The takeover of Italcementi, one of the leading international cement companies, provided such a growth opportunity. HeidelbergCement and Italcementi complement each other perfectly from a geographical perspective. With this purchase, we have clearly strengthened our market positions in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. As part of the takeover of Italcementi, we have also partially restructured our six Group areas to include the newly added countries. We will present the Group areas briefly on the following pages.
HeidelbergCement is well on track. With the acquisition of Italcementi, we are strengthening our global presence in an ideal manner. In the next few years, we intend to consistently develop the characteristics that set us apart from the com petitors: cost leadership and operational excellence.