An economic downturn and shrinking construction activity has taken its toll on Holcim, the world’s second-largest cement maker, which is in the process of slashing 1500 US and 500 UK jobs by the end of this year.
Company officials report that sales of cement, aggregates and related materials fell 12 percent in the first nine months of 2008, and anticipate the slowdown continuing through 2010.
Missing its forecast with a 23 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit and with construction in many regions slowing, Holcim (US) has also decided to shut down two of its vintage Great Lakes-area mills--Dundee, Michigan, and Clarksville, Montana greenfield sites dating to 1960 and 1967, respectively. The closings will affect about 340 salaried and hourly workers. Both plants may have been on Holcim’s radar to close thanks to next year’s scheduled opening of a 4 Mta plant in St. Genevieve, Montana.