Mixed results from Holcim

By Sarah Ann McCay09 May 2013

Holcim saw a +164% rise in net profit for the first quarter of 2013, to CHF 295 million (€240 million).

Price improvements, cost savings and the sale of a 25% stake in Cement Australia, all helped drive net income for the first quarter.

The Swiss-based cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete and asphalt firm reported a dip in net sales of -7.2% to CHF 4.3 billion (€3.5 billion), while EBITDA fell -9.5% to CHF 650 million (€527 million). Holcim attributed the drops to lower performance of both Indian Group companies. Better results were achieved in Europe and Latin America.

Operating profit came to CHF 270 million (€218 million), down -17.8% on 2012. Holcim said market and weather-induced decreases in sales volumes in all segments and higher variable costs impacted operating results.

Consolidated cement sales decreased -5% to 32.1 million tonnes. Increased were seen in the emerging markets of Ecuador, Russia and Azerbaijan.

Deliveries of aggregates were down -8.6% to 28.6 million tonnes. Favorable market conditions were reported in Switzerland, while declines were seen in Australia, Ecuador and Spain in particular.

Sales of ready-mix concrete dropped -16.8% to 8.4 million m3 while asphalt sales contracted by -17.7% to 1.1 million tonnes.

Looking ahead, Holcim anticipates an increase in cement sales in 2013, but does not expect to match 2012 levels for aggregates and ready-mix concrete. Growth is expected to continue in Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America, although Holcim is less optimistic about Europe and Africa/Middle East.

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