Positive half for Holcim
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Holcim has cited better than expected result from North America as well as growth in emerging economies for its growth in sales and profits in the first half of 2010. Sales were up 8.1% from the same period last year to CHF10.9billion, while EBITDA rose 9.3% to CHF2.3billion.
In a statement, the company said, “After a first quarter beset by heavy winter snowfall in the northern hemisphere, the overall economic picture improved slightly. In some Western European markets and in North America, demand for building materials increased, and Asia remained on a growth trajectory. Latin America and in particular Group region Africa Middle East held up well.
“However, it is not possible to speak of a global economic recovery. Elements of uncertainty still exist and make forecasting difficult. These include high levels of government debt which are limiting further stimulus programmes, particularly in Europe. Even though the US economy has improved, the upturn is not yet broadly based.”
Aggregates and ready mixed concrete sales showed the best volume improvements during the period. Aggregate volumes were up 16.8% to 43.7million tonnes, while ready mixed sales rose 17% to 12.4milliom m3.
Looking at the remainder of the year, the company said, “The economic trend in the European and North American regions remains considerably uncertain despite some positive market signals. Holcim expects demand in most countries of Latin America to be stable. Demand in the Group regions Africa Middle East and in particular Asia Pacific will grow further.
“In the second half of the year, Holcim will continue to concentrate its efforts on factors it can directly influence, such as cost efficiency along the whole value chain and the efficient commissioning of new state-of-the-art production facilities in the fast-growing emerging markets.
“Certain countries are witnessing signs of economic slowdown and increasing pressure on prices. Holcim is confident of coping well with these challenges thanks to the operational measures initiated at an early stage.”