India: The impact of the coronavirus pandemic was visible in the financial performance of ACC, one of LafargeHolcim’s major Indian subsidiaries, during the three months to 31 March 2020. For the quarter, the company’s consolidated net profit fell by 6.6% on a year-on-year basis to US$42.1m, while net sales declined by 11% to US$448m on the back of a steep fall in volumes, which came to 6.6Mt, 12% lower year-on-year. ACC’s ready mix concrete (RMC) volumes remained stable at 930,000t.
The pandemic mainly impacted sales volumes in March 2020, whereas January and February 2020 saw healthy growth in both cement and RMC sales. ACC said that this was due to a focus on premium products, increase in value-added solutions in its ready mix business, cost reductions on the manufacturing side and logistics-derived savings. Input cost of raw materials were lower on account of material source mix optimisation and supply chain efficiencies. Consequently, the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first quarter increased by 10% year-on-year to US$76.4m.
Sridhar Balakrishnan, ACC’s managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), said, “We believe that with a high probability of a normal monsoon season, growth in the rural economy will revive and stay strong. We expect cement demand to increase in the medium term once the pandemic subsides and business operations commence”.