LafargeHolcim “resilience” leaves group well placed for the second half of 2020

The CEO of LafargeHolcim says the French-Swiss building material giant has shown “great resilience” during the COVID-19 pandemic, with trade making a “full recovery” in June.
Quarry Products / July 30, 2020
By Guy Woodford
LafargeHolcim CEO Jan Jenisch

Jan Jenisch said he is encouraged by the fast recovery of product demand which offered a solid sales outlook for the second half of 2020.

Speaking on the publication of LafargeHolcim’s first-half 2020 trading figures, Jenisch said: “I’m very proud of our teams’ rapid and agile response to the crisis since the beginning of January. We were quick to respond and take all necessary measures to protect the health of our people while supporting our communities, from donating materials to build emergency field hospitals all the way to supplying essential goods, touching the lives of over four million people around the world.

“Our half-year results demonstrate the great resilience of our business. I’m encouraged by our team’s agility to weather the storm with the rapid execution of our ‘HEALTH, COST & CASH’ action plan, effectively driving cost savings ahead of expectations, improving net working capital and delivering record free cash flow.

“The peak of the crisis is behind us. We expect a solid second half of the year based on June’s full recovery, the trend of our order book and upcoming government stimulus packages.

“As an essential sector to keep society running, we look forward to playing our part in driving the recovery. We are accelerating our sustainability efforts to ensure our green solutions are fully part of the recovery. I am confident LafargeHolcim will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

COVID-19-disruption saw LafargeHolcim’s H1 2020 sales fall by 10.8% on a like-for-like basis to CHF 10,693 million (€9,934 million), compared to CHF 13,059mn (€12,132mn) in H1 2019. The group’s recurring EBIT (earnings before interest & taxes) was down 22% to CHF 1,194 million (€1,109mn) on a like-for-like basis (CHF 1,667mn - €1,548mn in H1 2019).

LafargeHolcim says the sales figures reflected the severe impact of the implementation of strict lockdowns of construction sites in several major operating countries.

Since the beginning of the novel coronavirus crisis, LafargeHolcim teams around the world have undertaken wide-ranging measures to fight COVID-19 across their communities, touching the lives of more than four million people. Advancing access to health infrastructure for all, LafargeHolcim donated five million kilograms of material to build emergency field hospitals from Wuhan to Boston. Furthermore, the group donated over two million relief and emergency kits, including personal protective equipment, food and water.

In the first half of 2020 LafargeHolcim achieved a number-one Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ranking in the construction materials sector out of more than one-hundred peer companies, according to ESG research and ratings agency Sustainalytics. Playing its part in a green recovery, LafargeHolcim is advancing its leadership in sustainable and circular construction, notably with the worldwide rollout of ECOPact, its green concrete. Further accelerating the transition to renewable energy, LafargeHolcim leveraged 3D printing in an innovative partnership with GE Renewable Energy and COBOD to build more powerful wind turbines.

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