LafargeHolcim is reporting a “good start to the year” with like-for-like net sales up 3.1 percent despite the impact of adverse weather and fewer working days in the first quarter of the year.
Broadly, the underlying market trends seen at the end of 2017 continued into the first three months of 2018, according to the company. In North America, the group said it is well positioned to take advantage of good market conditions despite the effect of a particularly harsh winter.
Latin America continued its positive development with top and bottom line growth. Strong performance in China and India contributed to growth in the Asia Pacific region. In contrast, Middle East Africa underperformed with challenging conditions in some markets. In Europe, where underlying demand was good, first quarter performance reflected adverse weather, fewer working days and higher maintenance activity in preparation for high season growth.
Jan Jenisch, group chief executive officer of LafargeHolcim said, “The first quarter was a good start to the year. The continued growth in the top line is encouraging and confirms the positive outlook for our businesses. Though the quarter was affected by several headwinds, we expect the strength of our portfolio and the benefits of our new strategy to become increasingly visible over the full year. That makes us confident we will deliver on our 2018 targets.”
The company’s outlook for the remainder of 2018:
- Further market growth is anticipated in North America driven by residential and non-residential demand.
- Market demand in Latin America is expected to be up in most countries.
- The group expects sustained market demand supported by infrastructure and residential growth in India, while in China favorable market conditions are expected to remain.
- In South East Asia, the market environment will generally remain challenging although demand outlook is encouraging.
- The environment for building materials is positive across most markets in Europe.
- The overall outlook for Middle East Africa is mixed and the region continues to be affected by challenging markets.