Holcim reported net sales up 16.6% like for like and significant margin increase in all regions for the first half of the year. The North American region showed good momentum to deliver a strong margin improvement overall, with strong market demand in the United States and good recovery in Canada West. In Canada East demand was supported by key projects in Montreal and Toronto.
Volumes grew in all business segments in the second quarter and pricing was positive. Sales of aggregates was 45.2 million metric tons.
Jan Jenisch, CEO, stated, “As we close the first half under our new Group identity, I sincerely thank all members of the Holcim family for the teamwork and resilience they continue to demonstrate to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. I am proud of how our 70,000 colleagues around the world are protecting our people and communities, with health and safety top of mind, while supporting our customers.
“At this time last year I said that Holcim would emerge stronger from this crisis. These half-year results prove it. In the first half of 2021 we set new records in Recurring EBIT, free cash flow and earnings per share. I congratulate our teams for this remarkable achievement and for giving me the confidence to revise our 2021 guidance for Recurring EBIT growth to at least 18% like for like.
“I’m pleased by the strong start of the Firestone business, with its double-digit volume growth and expansion into Latin America. Also, our growth momentum continued in mature markets, fueled by seven bolt-on acquisitions. Advancing our vision to become the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, we launched our global green cement range ECOPlanet following the success of ECOPact green concrete, accelerating sustainable construction around the world,” he concluded.
With the acquisition of Firestone Building Products officially closed, the company experienced strong demand in all product lines and regions with volumes up 21% in the second quarter. Firestone Building Products has already begun to leverage the Holcim global procurement and sales network, notably in Latin America, where Holcim Mexico introduced GacoFlex TechoProtec. Holcim also continued to develop its portfolio through seven bolt-on acquisitions in the first half of 2021, building capacity in mature European and North American markets, primarily in aggregates and ready-mix concrete.
Holcim continued to progress in its sustainability ambitions by introducing ECOPlanet, an innovative range of green cement that delivers at least 30% lower carbon footprint with equal to superior performance. ECOPlanet will be distributed across 15 markets in 2021. This builds on the success of ECOPact, the world’s broadest range of green concrete, which is now available in 24 markets across all regions.
The board of directors appointed Matthias Gaertner as head of legal and compliance, and member of the Group Executive Committee. Gaertner, previously general counsel of Honeywell Building Technologies, is a proven senior legal leader in innovation-driven building solutions with a strong track record in international mergers and acquisitions, and compliance, the company said.
He succeeds Keith Carr who decided to pursue new opportunities outside of Holcim. He will continue to serve the company until the end of the year to ensure a seamless transition. The board and executive committee thanked Keith for his many contributions to the company’s success.
Looking ahead, Holcim expects growth momentum to continue in all regions, supported by various stimulus programs. The company expects to continue the growth of Firestone Building Products and pursue further bolt-on acquisitions, while accelerating progress towards its 2030 sustainability targets.