Holcim reports lower sales volumes in the first half of 2015

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Switzerland: In the first half of 2015, Holcim generated higher cash flow from operating activities and increased net income supported by the gain from the divestment of its minority shareholding in Siam City Cement in March 2015. However, Holcim was faced with a challenging development in the first half of 2015 as lower than anticipated demand in some markets caused volume declines in cement and impacted financial performance. Positive dynamics in markets such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico and the Philippines were not able to compensate for these effects.

In the first half of 2015 consolidated cement volumes decreased by 2% to 67.6Mt as group regions like Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa Middle East reported declines. Like-for-like net sales across the group were almost unchanged in the first half of 2015. Net sales were down by 3.1% to Euro8.12m, as better performance in North America could not compensate for lower sales in other group regions. Operating earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for merger-related costs of Euro80.8m, fell by 3.7% to Euro1.46m. Operating EBITDA decreased by 7.8% to Euro1.38m, impacted by merger-related costs and lower financial performance in Europe and Asia Pacific. Operating profit adjusted for merger-related costs of Euro80.8m, was down by 5.5% to Euro857m. Operating profit fell by 12.3% to Euro777m, as increases in Latin America and North America were not able to compensate for merger-related costs and lower performance in Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa Middle East. Net income increased by 4.9% to Euro648m, mainly as a result of the divestment of Holcim's minority shareholding in Siam City Cement.

Holcim was again confronted with a mixed global economic environment that was influenced by moderate growth levels as well as political and economic uncertainty. Although lower oil prices influenced economic development positively in oil-importing regions, ongoing investment weakness more than offset these effects in both advanced and emerging markets. With its strong focus on prices and cost management as well as its balanced geographic footprint, Holcim was able to mitigate some of these effects. Cement volumes declined in all group regions with the exception of North America and Latin America. More cement was sold in important markets including Romania, the Philippines, Vietnam and the US. Adjusted for merger-related costs, operating EBITDA was lower, despite the positive developments in North America and Latin America. Operating profit adjusted for merger-related costs also declined. While Group companies including Aggregate Industries UK, Holcim US, Holcim Mexico and Holcim Spain reported increased like-for-like financial performance, the development in Indonesia, India, Switzerland and France was less favourable.

Holcim expects that in 2015, the global economy will continue its gradual recovery. Key construction markets of Holcim in countries like the USA, India, Mexico, Colombia, the UK and the Philippines are expected to be the main growth drivers. Europe overall should have flat development. Latin America will continue to face uncertainties in Brazil, but should overall show slight growth in 2015. The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow, although at a modest pace. Flat development is expected in Africa Middle East. Cement volumes should increase in all group regions in 2015 with the exception of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Last modified on 29 July 2015

URL: https://www.globalcement.com/news/item/3938-holcim-reports-lower-sales-volumes-in-the-first-half-of-2015

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