Message from Management


In 2018, we, at Votorantim Cimentos, continued our journey focused on long-term growth. Our commitment to excellence in products, services and processes resulted in success stories with our customers.

Our strategic dialogue process confirmed the importance of our purpose, "Life is made to last", and our strategic drivers: maximize value creation, strengthen our presence in the Brazilian market, develop diversified products and services, and internationalize.

We concentrated our investments on initiatives aligned with our strategic drivers. Capacity expansion in our international cement operations, product and service diversification, thermal substitution and implementation of technologies are the most important initiatives to improve our efficiency and competitiveness.

We expanded the capacity of our Charlevoix unit, in the United States, by nearly 600,000 tons, reinforcing our presence in the Great Lakes region, and installed a 200,000-ton line of calcined clay in Olavarra, Argentina. In Brazil, we are increasing the agricultural lime capacity of our Nobres (MT) plant by 700,000 tons and also installing a new mortar line in Cuiab (MT). We also acquired a port terminal in Manaus (AM) that expands our access to the Northern Region of Brazil. Both the Nobres expansion and the Cuiab new line will have their start-ups in 2019.

Projects in the use of alternative fuels (Alternative Fuel and Raw Materials, or AFR) are eco-efficiency initiatives that have enabled us to increase the substitution of petroleum coke by renewable energy sources, resulting in both cost reduction and lower carbon emissions. They also reflect our commitment to foster a circular economy and, as a result, reduce our environmental footprint and the impacts of our production process. We also focused on investments in technology and innovative practices that support our commitment to operational excellence, aligning with meaningful and agile digital transformation movements and fostering an ecosystem of innovation that will enable us to build the future we envision.

At the same time, we reaffirmed our commitment to operate in markets in which we are relevant players and that offer greater potential for value creation. In this regard, we decided to divest in Cementos Portland, in Peru, through the sale of our corporate interest in the Company, and signed an agreement for the sale of Shree Digvijay Cement Company in India. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.

In early 2019, our shareholder, Votorantim S.A. (VSA) made a capital contribution of R$ 2 billion, which demonstrates their confidence in our strategy and in our business prospects, enabling us to accelerate the deleveraging process and optimize our capital structure. The funds were used for prepayment of debt and contributed to a reduction of our pro-forma leverage ratio to 2.8x, reaching levels comparable to investment grade metrics. When added to the contributions made in 2016 and 2017, VSA has invested R$ 4.7 billion in Votorantim Cimentos.

Another highlight was the creation, in October 2018, of Votorantim Cimentos International (VCI), which now consolidates all company investments outside of Brazil. Based in Luxembourg, the company aims to facilitate the continued international expansion of Votorantim Cimentos, in addition to enabling even more efficient capital management.

Throughout the 100-year history of the Votorantim Group, celebrated in 2018, Votorantim Cimentos has been a pioneer at several important times, such as with the group’s internationalization, with our first operations in North America starting in 2001. Therefore, we celebrated the 100-year anniversary with all our colleagues in the 12 countries where we are present. In Brazil, our special contribution to the 100-year celebration was to actively participate in the challenge of bringing the Partnership for the Enhancement of Education (PVE, for its initials in Portuguese), a program that aims to contribute to the improvement of public education, for 25 of the 104 Brazilian municipalities where the PVE was implemented. We also celebrated the 50 year anniversary of two important business units: the Brazilian Engemix and the St Marys’ Bowmanville plant, located in Ontario, Canada.

We continued to refine our governance processes with a series of initiatives to further improve internal controls and compliance, enhanced by intensive training on our Code of Conduct. We understand that compliance is a never-ending journey to further embed in our culture the right way of doing things. Our 2018 results demonstrate this truth: we are equipped to make confident decisions at the right moment and in the right way, to transform opportunities into business success and to create positive impact and value in the regions where we work and for all of our stakeholders.

In late 2018, we announced to the market that, after more than five years as the head of the company, Walter Dissinger, Global CEO, communicated his desire to pursue new challenges. To succeed him, the Board of Directors appointed Marcelo Castelli, an executive who began his history in the Votorantim Group in 1997 and held various executive positions before becoming CEO of Fibria in 2011. Castelli will lead the company, continuing its growth trajectory. To Walter, we offer our true appreciation for his dedication to the company for the past few years.

Board of Directors

Last Update on April 12, 2019

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