Emerging markets bolster Holcim results

Emerging markets bolster Holcim results
Photo: Holcim
Swiss cement group Holcim is reporting a 10.3-percent rise in net profits to 1.1 billion francs ($1.2 billion) for the first nine months of the year, attributing this to growth in emerging markets.

Sales increased 4.8 percent over the first three quarters to 16.2 billion francs, Holcim said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

It highlighted the "advantage of a strong presence in emerging markets, where construction activity remains high."

Compared with the outcome at this time last year, the company's operating profit margin improved 0.2 percent to 19.4 percent, despite restructuring costs totalling 58 million francs in Spain, Brazil, UK, Mexico and Hungary.

By volume, cement sales increased three percent to 111.4 million tonnes over the same period in 2011, Holcim said, adding that its "geographic diversification" helped support sales in spite of the "difficult market situation in Europe."

The group, which recorded significantly higher cement sales in India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Mexico and the United States, said it expects demand to rise in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, as well as in Russia and Azerbaijan.

In North America, cement volumes will also increase, Holcim said. In Europe however, sales volumes are expected to decrease.

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