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Holcim ready to meet likely pick up in cement demand

/ 04:36 AM August 01, 2020

The country’s leading cement-maker, Holcim Philippines, swung to a net loss in the second quarter following the shutdown of its plants in Luzon in line with the coronavirus pandemic-rela­ted lockdown measures.

Holcim incurred a net loss of P88 million in the second quarter, a reversal of the net profit of P716 million in the same period last year.

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For the entire first semester, Holcim’s net profit declined by 71 percent year-on-year to P413.2 million.

“The ongoing pandemic has caused challenges to the country. At Holcim Philippines, we took quick and decisive actions focused on safeguarding the health of our people, controlling costs, and preserving cash. This has helped us to mitigate the COVID-19 impact on our company. We remain optimistic about the future and our ability to deliver great value to our shareholders, customers and communities while maintaining a healthy and safe workplace,” Holcim president John Stull said in a statement.

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While there was a recovery in June, revenue in the first semester declined by 25.8 percent year-on-year to P11.4 billion as volumes and prices fell after construction activity slowed due to measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

For the second quarter alone, net sales declined by 43 percent to P4.15 billion.

With the lower revenue, Holcim’s six-month cash flow slid by 43.7 percent year-on-year to P1.7 billion despite the company’s stern measures to manage all costs.

Meanwhile, Holcim is optimistic on the Department of Public Works and Highways’ announcement that major infrastructure projects were on track and that the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program would play a key role in growing the economy amid the pandemic.

“Holcim Philippines is ready to support partners in this effort,” the company said.

“Quick actions to keep people safe against COVID-19 in its operations enabled the company to quickly reopen all its manufacturing facilities and ramp up operations in Luzon and Davao after the local and national governments eased quarantines in May. Cost and efficiency initiatives across the business are also continuing, highlighted by the recent completion of maintenance activities in a number of its facilities with minimal support from third-party contractors.”

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