Holcim sees half-year net profits fall
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Swiss group Holcim, one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates, says that its 2011 first-half net profit fell by 4.2% to 586 million Swiss francs (approximately €517 million), due to the franc's strength.
The company says that while an appreciable number of other group companies improved their results in local currency terms, these successes were cancelled out in the consolidated financial statements by the strength of the Swiss franc.
The currency also affected sales, which dropped 7% compared to 2010 although volumes increased in all segments.
“In the first half of 2011, demand for building materials followed a positive development in many markets in the emerging countries, with Asia and Latin America in particular continuing to grow,” says the group.
“As a leading supplier for the construction industry Holcim depends heavily on developments in economic activity, which are currently not easy to read.
“In Europe, a rise in demand for construction materials is expected in many places. By contrast, there is not yet a sign of an upturn in the construction sector in North America.”
However, it says that most emerging markets in Latin America and Asia are expected to remain on a positive track for growth, while no change is anticipated in business conditions in group region Africa Middle East.