Holcim expects the global economies to show another year of uneven performance in 2014. For instance, North American markets are expected to continue to benefit from a further recovery especially in the United States. Latin America on the other hand could continue to face uncertainties in Mexico but should overall show slight growth.
The company believes cement volumes will increase in all regions in 2014. Aggregates volumes are expected to remain flat overall as increases in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Africa Middle East are offset by negative volumes in Latin America. In ready-mix concrete volumes are also expected to increase in most regions with the exception of Europe and Latin America.
The Board of Directors and Executive Committee expect that organic growth in operating profit can be achieved in 2014. The ongoing focus on the cost base coupled with all the benefits expected from the Holcim Leadership Journey will lead to a further expansion in operating margins this year.
In the 2013 financial year, Holcim achieved cement sales of 138.9 million tons, compared to 142.3 tons in 2012. The 2.4 percent fall was mainly attributable to lower volumes in the Asia Pacific region, while in Europe cement sales were higher mainly due to the sustained high demand in Russia and Azerbaijan.
“Holcim generated a solid result in the 2013 financial year. Despite difficult market conditions, as a result of which volumes in all three segments were below those recorded last year, the operating EBITDA margin and net income increased due to the consistent implementation of the Holcim Leadership Journey,” stated CEO Bernard Fontana.