LafargeHolcim Reports Record Start to 2021

LafargeHolcim is reporting that the company got off to a record start to 2021, led by net sales improving by 7.4% and an increase in Recurring EBIT of 130.7% compared to the prior year period, both on a like-for-like basis. Cement volumes grew by 5.6% for the group and ready-mix concrete volumes grew by 2.2%, while aggregates volumes decreased by 4.0%, all on a like-for-like basis. All regions showed significant increase in Recurring EBIT margin.

North America showed good momentum with volume back to the 2019 level despite unfavorable weather at the start of the year. Market demand in the United States was strong and Canada West, which had been affected by a slowdown in the oil and gas sector, showed signs of stabilization. The Recurring EBIT margin for the region improved by 170 basis points versus the prior year.

The Latin America region continued its outstanding performance, with volume growth in all business segments. Strong cement demand growth was driven by residential and infrastructure sectors. The region delivered an excellent operational performance, with a record Recurring EBIT margin improvement of 810 basis points versus the prior year.

The Europe region showed good momentum with a strong increase in margin. Performance in March was excellent, with strong volumes in all segments and strong pricing trends overall. Market conditions improved in the UK and demand in France continued to be strong. These factors led to over-proportional Recurring EBIT growth compared to net sales.

The Middle East Africa region delivered strong improvement in Recurring EBIT margin. The region returned to cement volume growth, driven by branded product sales. Good trends in Iraq, Kenya and Nigeria led to strong Recurring EBIT margin improvement of 380 basis points versus the prior year.

The Asia Pacific region showed record performance with strong growth in cement volumes. India’s outstanding performance was supported by excellent volumes as well as effective price and cost management. Improving activities in Australia were supported by government stimulus programs. The region achieved a record Recurring EBIT margin expansion of 730 basis points versus the prior year.

“I am pleased to share that we are off to a strong start to the year, delivering record first-quarter results, with net sales up 7.4% and Recurring EBIT up 131%,” said Jan Jenisch, chief executive officer. “This continues our strong growth momentum of the last quarters, and we expect it to accelerate with the Firestone Building Products acquisition and the many government stimulus investments ahead. We are set to deliver the targets of Strategy 2022 one year in advance.

“The pandemic has emphasized for all of us the need to build back a better normal. We are fully committed to playing our part. For instance, in the United States, we are ready to contribute to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, offering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, in a more sustainable way, while making buildings more energy-efficient,” he continued. “With our sustainable building solutions, from Firestone’s insulating roofing systems to our ECOPact green concrete, we are committed to deploying our technologies at scale to put climate action at the heart of the recovery.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone within LafargeHolcim for their continued resilience and agility throughout the pandemic,” he concluded. “I’m extremely proud of how our teams are keeping our people and operations safe, while going above and beyond to stand by our communities. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of all.”

LafargeHolcim expects positive demand trends in all regions to be accelerated from various stimulus programs, as governments announce measures to support the economic recovery with a focus on infrastructure. LafargeHolcim said it is ready to contribute to these programs around the world, from the CHF 2 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan in the United States, to the nearly CHF 2 trillion expected from India’s ‘National Infrastructure Pipeline’ plan, and the UK’s CHF 800 billion infrastructure plan.

The company expects to develop the Firestone Building Products business in 2021, to accelerate bolt-on acquisitions and to continue to progress on its 2030 sustainability targets. LafargeHolcim further expects to achieve all Strategy 2022 targets one year in advance.

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