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Swiss cement maker Holcim sees 2Q profits plummet

Swiss cement maker Holcim sees 2Q profits plummet

Swiss cement maker Holcim Ltd. said Thursday its second-quarter income fell by two-thirds because of high energy prices and fewer orders as a result of the worldwide economic downturn.
Net profit attributable to shareholders between April and June was 696 million Swiss francs (US$636 million), 66.3 percent less than in the same period last year when Holcim benefited from the sale of its stake in Holcim South Africa.
Net sales in the second quarter were down 4.8 percent to 6.93 billion francs (US$6.33 billion).
"The turbulence in the financial markets, rising inflation and the strong rise in energy prices have put the global economy under increased strain," Holcim said. "After a prolonged period of very solid economic growth, this has had a noticeable dampening effect on the economies of the U.S., the U.K. and Spain in particular."
Building booms in eastern Europe will offset weak construction activity elsewhere on the continent during the second half of the year, Holcim CEO Markus Akermann said in a conference call.
The U.S. construction industry is expected to contract further, while business in Latin America will continue to be good, he said.
Holcim recently announced that it will part with 85 percent of its stake in Holcim Venezuela because of government demands for nationalization of the cement industry.
Holcim reiterated its long-term growth target of 5 percent in internal operating EBITDA for the full year.
Shares in the company dipped 0.7 percent to close at 76.45 francs (US$70.35) on the Zurich exchange.


Updated : 2021-02-25 19:13 GMT+08:00