Solid Q2 for scandal-hit LafargeHolcim

By Mike Hayes26 July 2017

The world’s largest cement maker, LafargeHolcim, has posted its second quarter results, showing an adjusted operating profit of CHF1.735 billion (US$1.82 billion), up 0.1% from the same period in 2016.

The figure is also slightly better than the CHF1.714 billion anticipated in a Reuters poll.

The firm’s adjusted second-quarter operating EBITDA margin was up to 25.3%, from 23.8% in the same period in the previous year.

Forecasts had anticipated some financial instability in the wake of allegations made about the firm’s activities in Syria.

It is alleged that, at a Lafarge cement plant operating in Syria, ‘unacceptable measures’ were taken to keep the operation running – including the alleged payment of ‘protection money’ to armed groups – before it was eventually evacuated in 2014.

The company said it was bringing forward the appointment of Jens Jenisch as CEO to September 1. Current chief executive, Eric Olsen will step down in an effort to draw a line under the scandal, although, following an internal inquiry, LafargeHolcim said he “was not responsible for, nor thought to be aware of, any wrongdoings”.

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