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North America a top performer for LafargeHolcim in first half

By |  August 4, 2020
Headshot: Jan Jenisch

Jenisch

Net sales dropped 18.1 percent in the first half of the year at LafargeHolcim, a global producer of aggregate, ready-mixed concrete, cement and other building materials products.

According to the company, the drop was a reflection of the severe impact of strict lockdown of construction sites in several countries LafargeHolcim operates in.

The North American market was a stronger performer for LafargeHolcim, though. Sales of aggregate, as measured in million metric tons (mt), dropped just 1.1 percent within the market in the first half. LafargeHolcim’s North American cement sales were down 1.4 percent while ready-mixed concrete sales were up 2.7 percent.

Aggregate sales volumes were down 6.5 percent across LafargeHolcim’s global operations in the first half.

“The North America region delivered a remarkable performance with a recurring EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) up 20 percent for the first half of 2020 over the prior-year period on a like-for-like basis,” the company says in a statement. “This leading performance amid COVID-19 was largely due to fast and effective cost management in the U.S., partly offset by the impact of lockdowns in Eastern Canada and the economic challenges facing Western Canada due to a slowdown in the oil [and] gas industry.”

In Swiss francs, LafargeHolcim’s overall North American sales were down 3 percent. Other LafargeHolcim markets were down more dramatically, including Asia Pacific (down 29.4 percent) Latin America (down 26.4 percent), Middle East Africa (down 20.3 percent) and Europe (down 13.8 percent).

The worst, however, may be behind LafargeHolcim, as CEO Jan Jenisch believes the peak of the economic crisis has passed.

“We expect a solid second half of the year based on June’s full recovery, the trend of our order book and upcoming government stimulus packages,” Jenisch says.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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