The world’s biggest cement makers, on Thursday reported a 94 per cent increase in its first quarter net profit to 530 million Swiss francs (Euro 331m)), fuelled by the booming construction industry in Asia, Europe and Africa. First quarter net sales increased by 23.8 per cent compared to the same period last year to 5.73 billion Swiss francs despite a slowdown in house building in the United States, Holcim said in a statement.
Cement sales by volume increased by 24.5 per cent to 34.6Mt with the strongest increase recorded in Asia, partly due to the Swiss group’s expanded presence in India. Rising demand for building materials in Europe continued in a "robust market," helped by a mild winter, the company said. Growth in those two parts of the world offset a slowdown in construction industry in North America.
Holcim reported that activity in the US building industry tailed off in the first quarter due to a "marked decline" in residential construction and "exceptionally bad building weather" in some regions.