Holcim Maroc, a subsidiary of Swiss cement supplier Holcim Ltd, posted a consolidated net profit of 354 mln Moroccan dirhams ($42m) for 2004, down 15.1 per cent year-on-year. Operating profit fell by 93 mln dirhams ($11m) to 473 mln dirhams ($56.2m). Consolidated turnover totalled 1.586 bln dirhams ($188m) versus 1.568 mln dirhams ($186m). Sales of cement, concrete, and aggregate rose by 7.3 per cent, 19 per cent, and 3.0 per cent, respectively. Among the factors which influenced the 2004 performance are the hike of petcoke prices on the international markets, the expensive marine cargo transportation, and cement taxes.
Holcim Maroc put into operation new crushing installations at the Ras El Ma plant, near Fez, northern Morocco, in 2004. The company has also recently started investments in a plant near Settat, northwestern Morocco, with an annual cement production capacity of 700,000t. The project will need an investment of US$297m