Positive result for Holcim
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Demand for construction materials in emerging markets and stable volume development have been cited by Holcim for the 5% rise in turnover in the first nine months of the year. Sales reached CHF16.5billion during the period, up from CHF15.7billion in the same period last year.
The company has recorded this growth for the full nine months despite a 0.5% decline in sales during the third quarter, which was blamed on economic and seasonal influences negatively impacting on the business.
Operating EBITDA – the key operational performance indicator – declined only slightly in the first nine months of the year with CHF3.5billion, down 1% on 2009. In a staetement, the company said, “The reasons for this decline are increased pressure on prices in important markets and a trend toward higher variable production and distribution costs. Holcim was severely affected by this in India. The onset of the monsoon – which was particularly harsh this year – prompted a slide in cement prices right across the country. In addition, ACC in India had to contend with delivery bottlenecks due to operational factors. In the third quarter especially, the price situation also worsened in Europe and the US. Encouragingly, price levels in Latin America and Group region Africa Middle East were generally stable or even slightly better. Mexico, however, suffered a further decline in volumes owing to market and weather conditions.”
According to Holcim, apart from a few exceptions, prospects for the European construction markets remain subdued for 2010. The company added in it its statement, “Also in North America, little is set to change on the demand side. In both continents however, developments hinge to some extent on weather conditions for building work into year-end. The construction industry in Latin America is expected to remain robust in most cases – the exceptions being Mexico and Central America. The Group regions of Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific will continue to grow. In India, a rapid rise in demand for building materials is expected following the monsoon.”