• Cement demand robust, boosts Holcim profit


    Cement demand remained robust nationwide in the first quarter of the year as the government ramped up infrastructure spending and the private sector continued rolling out new commercial and residential projects.

    “The strong cement demand is a positive indicator for the growing economy. It shows the government’s continued commitment to improving infrastructure and raising the country’s competitiveness, and the private sector’s bullishness on available economic opportunities,” Ed Sahagun, chief executive officer of Holcim Philippines, said.

    Sahagun said Holcim’s first quarter revenue grew 12.3 percent to P8.05 billion from P7.17 billion a year earlier.

    Net profit rose 16.8 percent to P1.67 billion from the year-earlier level of P1.43 billion, boosted by increased revenue and operating efficiencies, along with effective cost management initiatives.

    “Our performance in the first quarter shows our readiness to support growth in the construction industry,” Sahagun said.

    “The company succeeded in raising the efficiency of its plants in anticipation of growth in the coming years,” he added.

    With various private groups planning to continue project rollouts and several Private-Partnership Projects set for implementation, Sahagun expects cement demand to grow further over the medium term.

    Earlier this month, it was reported that Holcim Ltd., the parent firm of Holcim Philippines, and Lafarge SA LG, which also has a Philippine unit, have agreed to merge to form the world’s largest cement maker.

    The Philippine construction industry is expected to expand this year.

    BCI Economics said in a previous forecast for 2014 that the domestic construction industry would grow 46 percent to P938 billion, from an estimated P643 billion the previous year. BCI Economics is the analysis and forecasting arm of BCI Asia Pty Ltd., which is Asia’s leading information service for the construction industry.


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