Holcim sales rise despite Europe slowdown

By Helen Wright15 August 2012

Cement producer Holcim reported first half sales of CHF10.4 billion (€8.6 billion), up 2.1% year-on-year, while net income increased 0.9% to CHF624 million (€519 million).

The increase was fuelled by the emerging markets and North America, in particular the company's divisions in the US, Mexico, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.

In contrast, European sales dropped 9.8% year-on-year to CHF2.8 billion (€2.3 billion) during the first half as a result of the economic crisis in the region.

Holcim said the European construction and building materials sectors were suffering, and noted that the only positive exceptions were Russia and Azerbaijan - construction markets which continued to grow during the first six months of the year and benefit from strong demand.

Overall, consolidated cement sales increased 4.4% to 74 million tonnes, while deliveries of aggregates declined 7% to 75.6 million tonnes, and ready-mix concrete volumes fell 1.3% to 22.8 million m3.

Sales of asphalt also decreased, mainly in Europe, by 16.2% to 3.6 million tonnes.

Holcim said it expected demand for building materials to continue to rise in North America and emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, as well as in Russia and Azerbaijan, for the rest of 2012. Offsetting this, further declines in Europe are expected.

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