Holcim Maroc more positive outlook for 2011

Holcim Maroc more positive outlook for 2011
Published: 18 October 2010

Holcim Ltd is avoiding a dip in Morocco’s cement market this year and is set to benefit as infrastructure projects fuel a recovery in 2011.

Morocco’s cement market will shrink by one per cent this year as the effects of a tourism boom and low-income housing projects peter out, said Cedric Nater, finance head at Holcim Maroc SA.

“The government projects will have an effect on the cement market in 2011 and 2012,” Nater said.

A new metro system in Casablanca, a port development in Nador, and a new train line linking Tangier to Marrakesh will be a boost to the local cement market, the executive said.

In 2008 Holcim raised MOD1.5bn (US$186m) in a bond sale to double capacity at its Fez plant, 100 miles northeast of the capital Rabat. Production will increase to 1.2Mt by 2012, Nater said.

Holcim has three cement factories in the country: in Oujda, Settat and Fez.

Profit at the unit rose 19 per cent in the first half to MOD491m. Revenue increased five per cent to MOD1.9bn.