Bloomberg News

Holcim Profit Falls on Higher Energy Costs and Swiss Franc

November 09, 2011

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Holcim Ltd., the world’s second- largest cement maker, said third-quarter profit fell on rising energy costs and the strength of the Swiss franc.

Operating profit fell 12 percent to 669 million francs ($747 million), the Jona, Switzerland-based company said in a statement today. That compares with an average estimate for 673 million francs in a Bloomberg survey. Sales declined 6.1 percent to 5.32 billion francs, a fifth consecutive quarterly decline, ahead of an estimate for 5.27 billion francs.

The company today reiterated a forecast for operating profit on a comparable basis this year to “be close” to last year’s results. Chief Executive Officer Markus Akermann is fighting higher fuel costs and the appreciation of the franc, as the European debt crisis slows global construction. Holcim’s sales in North America fell 7.9 percent, while they fell 12 percent in Europe.

The appreciation of the franc reduced sales and operating profit by 15 percent. Net income declined 35 percent to 356 million francs, missing the Bloomberg estimate of 373.3 million francs.

--Editor: Andrew Noel

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net.


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