Holcim exceeds Q4 recurring operating income guidance

The new logo of Swiss cement maker Holcim is seen in a concrete block during the Holcim Capital Markets Day event in Basel, Switzerland November 18, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Holcim (HOLN.S) beat analysts’ forecast for recurring operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2021, and the world’s biggest cement maker said on Friday it expects growth momentum continues in all regions this year.

Holcim posted a 5.6% increase in recurring earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to 1.09 billion Swiss francs ($1.18 billion) in the fourth quarter, better than the 1.06 billion francs predicted by analysts.

Sales for the three months ended December 31 rose 16.7% to 6.99 billion francs, better than the 6.73 billion francs expected.

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For 2022, Holcim said it expects to grow sales by 6% on a like-for-like basis, which would reduce the impact of currency fluctuations and acquisitions.

He also said he expects recurring operating EBIT to grow and generate free cash flow of more than CHF3 billion after posting a figure of CHF3.26 billion for 2021.

For 2021, he proposed a dividend of 2.20 francs, compared to 2.00 francs for 2020.

Holcim, which also supplies concrete, aggregates and precast concrete structures, is seen as a signifier for the wider construction market.

For the whole of 2021, the company recorded a record increase in turnover of 11.3% while recurring profit also reached a new record of 4.6 billion francs.

Managing Director Jan Jenisch said: “2021 has been a banner year for Holcim, reaching new levels of performance. What makes me most proud is how we have weathered the COVID pandemic with such extraordinary resilience.

German rival HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE), the world’s second-largest cement maker, said on Thursday it expects core sales and profits to rise in 2022 thanks to global infrastructure programs and continued demand for new homes.

($1 = 0.9230 Swiss francs)

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Reporting by John Revill Editing by Miranda Murray and Michael Shields

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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