India: gateway to a new era?
As India is set for a new government in New Delhi led by Narendra Modi following the recent elections, the country’s 350Mta cement industry hopes for a new era following a year of limited growth. Recent trends appear to indicate some improvement, although it is too early to call a market revival.
Pre-election hopes for the cement sector faded as India’s cement market saw growth fall to as low as four per cent in the 2013-14 election year. Election-related project works did not yield the expected demand for cement and neither did one of the best monsoons in India for the last 25 years. India’s largest cement companies, including Holcim’s ACC and Ambuja Cements, and Aditya Birla’s UltraTech, remained under pressure throughout the year. Sales were poor and cement prices subdued, resulting in a substantial decline in revenues and profitability.