Holcim Philippines said it was cautiously optimistic of a sales growth this year amid the global economic situation, reports the Manila Standard.
Ian Thackwray, the company’s chief operating officer, told reporters following the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting yesterday that he was confident the financial results for the first half would be better year-on-year.
He said sales volumes grew 6-8 per cent YoY in the first four months of the year, or higher than the three per cent growth in demand for the whole industry.
“There’s a good chance we will have a good year. We have not anticipated that 2009 will be a growth year for us because of the crisis. At the beginning of the year, we thought anything above zero will be good enough, but indications are such that we will have better-than-expected results this year,” said Thackwray.
He said the company’s performance in the second half of the year would largely depend on the pace of investments in infrastructure amid the government’s economic pump-priming initiatives.
The company produced 4.6Mt last year from an operating capacity of 4.9Mt. Three of its plants are currently not operating and could have brought the total capacity to 7.1Mt.
Thackwray said he did not think it would be necessary to reopen the three plants this year as operating capacity appeared enough to meet demand.
He said with import costs under control, the company was not likely to jack up prices of cement this year. Competition among local cement manufacturers also dictates that the company must hold its retail prices steady so as not to be priced out of the market.