Holcim Touts Strong First Quarter

Holcim reported record net sales of CHF 6,440 million, and total growth of +20.1% in Swiss francs, driven by strong demand, acquisitions and pricing.

The North America region had an outstanding first quarter. Volumes grew across all business segments, with strong market growth in the United States and Canada West, and a significant contribution from the newly acquired Roofing business. Order books for 2022 are full with strong growth momentum across all businesses, the company stated.

The Latin America region continued its strong profitable growth with Argentina, Colombia and El Salvador showing good market growth. To supply growing demand in El Salvador, Holcim opened a new cement production line in the market. Overall, the region showed strong pricing and positive price over cost. Roofing products continued to be rolled out through the Disensa retail network.

The Europe region delivered an outstanding performance with Recurring EBIT margin improvement. Strong pricing allowed the company to contain cost inflation, supported by good market demand in Eastern Europe. Driving cement’s green transformation, Holcim successfully launched the modernization of its Małogoszcz cement plant in Poland and invested in proprietary calcined clay technology in France. Calcined clay is an innovative low emission raw material for its green building solutions.

The Middle East Africa region showed a strong ability to offset cost inflation. Continued strong pricing across the region delivered positive price over cost for the quarter, with good demand in Nigeria, Iraq and Kenya. Decarbonizing its operations, the region delivered a significant increase in usage of alternative fuels.

The Asia Pacific region faced a challenging environment amid cost inflation. An expansion of the aggregates business in China and improved profitability in Australia helped to partially offset softer cement demand in the region. A new production line at the Tikaria plant in India is expected to be supportive of growth going forward.

Jan Jenisch, Holcim CEO, said, “I would like to thank all members of the Holcim family for their remarkable resilience as we navigate challenging times, from the pandemic to geopolitical uncertainty. I am extremely proud of how our teams are keeping our people and operations safe, while going above and beyond to stand by our communities.

“I am very encouraged by the record start of the year, setting a solid foundation to our ‘Strategy 2025 – Accelerating Green Growth’. In the first quarter, we achieved net sales growth of 20% and over 16% recurring EBIT growth in Swiss francs. Our Roofing business was a strong contributor to this performance with a 17% EBIT margin and the addition of Malarkey Roofing Products as a new growth engine in the highly attractive residential market. We further accelerated our growth with four bolt-on acquisitions in the quarter and ECOPact green concrete reaching 10% of ready mixed sales in March.

“With sustainability at the core of our strategy, we published our first Climate Report, sharing our net-zero journey with 2030 and 2050 targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative. A first in our industry, it reviews our decarbonization actions, from green building solutions, all the way to circular construction and next generation technologies.”

During the first quarter, as human tragedy unfolded across Eastern Europe, Holcim’s number one priority remained the safety, protection and well-being of all its affected colleagues and their families, no matter where they are. In March, Holcim announced its decision to initiate the process of divesting its business in Russia in line with the company’s values to operate in the most responsible manner. The company is actively engaged in supporting humanitarian efforts to alleviate suffering across the region, from providing shelter and essential goods to medical supplies. 

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