Economy & Market
Holcim 2010 profits slump
Swiss cement giant Holcim announced that its 2010 net profit has plunged by 19.6 per cent to 1.2 billion francs (Euro 939 million, $1.3 billion) due to low demand in Europe's and North America's construction sector. The group said sales grew by 2.5 per cent to 21.7 billion francs in 2010, due to strong demand in Asia, whereas revenues were up by 24 per cent. In Europe, however, sales fell by 10.7 per cent and in North America it dropped by 6.9 per cent. "In Europe and North America, improving economic conditions (have) yet to have much impact on the construction sector," the company said, noting that government economic stimulus programmes were not implemented consistently in all regions. For 2011, however, Holcim said "it can be expected that the construction sector in the mature markets will recover and that the growth in the emerging markets will continue. Holcim therefore anticipates an increase in sales across all segments."