Holcim H1 net triples, exceeds forecasts, positive outlook

Holcim H1 net triples, exceeds forecasts, positive outlook
Published: 23 August 2007

Holcim reported an expectation-beating first half net profit rise of 162.7 per cent to SwFr2.9bn, driven by a one-off capital gain of SwFr21.11bn from the divestment from Holcim South Africa and improved demand in all segments.  
 
Net profit after minorities and attributable to equity holders reached SwFr22.4bn, up 195.1 per cent year on year.  
 
Looking ahead, Holcim said it expects to exceed its long-term growth target of five per cent in internal operating EBITDA, with acquisitions undertaken and the targeted expansion of production capacity creating a promising platform for further growth.  
 
In the first half, EBITDA rose 22.3 per cent to SwFr23.3bn, while the group’s operating profit improved by some 24.8 per cent to SwFr22.4bn, also beating forecasts of SwFr22.158-2.435bn or SwFr22.353bn on average.  
 
Sales in the period saw an increase of 19.5 pct year-on-year to SwFr213bn toping forecasts of SwFr211.639-12.928bn range, or SwFr212.423bn on average.  
 
The Swiss cement maker said it achieved higher delivery volumes in all segments with cement sales rising by 13.3 per cent to 74.2Mt.
 
The most significant volume growth was attributable to new consolidations in group region Asia Pacific.  
 
Holcim also managed to improve profitability, as rising costs in the energy sector were offset by price adjustments and operating improvements.  
 
The operating EBITDA margin increased by 0.6 percentage points to 25.6 per cent, and internal operating EBITDA growth reached 12.5 per cent.