• Holcim profit hits P4B in 9 mos


    LISTED cement firm Holcim Philippines Inc. on Thursday reported a P4 billion net income for the first nine months, up about 8 percent from P3.74 billion booked last year.

    Revenues in the same period also increased to P24.9 billion on strong cement demand from last year’s P22.1 billion, the company said.

    In a press briefing, Holcim President and Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Sahagun said that demand for cement is usually strong in the second half, which fueled the company’s third quarter net profit despite a scheduled plant maintenance.

    For the third quarter alone, Holcim posted a net income of P721.96 million, which is higher than last year’s P691.21 million. Third quarter revenues also increased to P8.11 billion from P6.863 billion on-year.

    “We usually shut down plants every third quarter on the rainy season. With that, our production is supported by imported clinkers fromVietnam, which fueled the company’s operating expenses. Despite that, we continue to grow profits,” Sahagun said.

    Operating expenses likewise grew to P487 million in the third quarter from P453 million, while January to September operating expenses went up to P1.33 billion from P1.24 billion last year.

    Sahagun said the company sees even higher sales next year on the aggressive construction projects from the public and private sectors. He said the public-private partnership projects and the government’s public infrastructure spending will also help fuel growth.

    Meanwhile, Sahagun said that Holcim is still doing due diligence on the planned acquisition of Lafarge assets in Mindanao.

    On Tuesday, Lafarge Republic Inc. said it is negotiating the sale to Holcim of its four assets — Lafarge Iligan Inc., Lafarge Mindanao Inc., Lafarge Republic Aggregates Inc., and the Star Terminal at the Harbor Center in Manila. — in line with the global Lafarge-Holcim merger.

    Sahagun said the completion of the merger is the company’s priority, before Holcim proceeds with its planned construction of a $550-million Bulacan factory that would raise capacity by 2.5 million metric tons of cement yearly.

    Holcim Philippines is a local arm of Holcim Group based in Switzerland and Zurich, producing and supplying cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand). The cement maker has four factories in the Philippines in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental and Davao. Kristyn Nika M. Lazo


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