Cement is manufactured through a large-scale, complex and capital-intensive industrial process. At the core of the production process is the rotary kiln, in which limestone and clay are heated to around 1,450 degrees Celsius and the semifinished product clinker is created by sintering. In the cement mill, gypsum is added to the clinker and the mixture is ground to a fine powder - traditional Portland cement.

Holcim offers customers a wide range of cementitious materials and also develops customized blends for special applications. To produce these, other highgrade materials such as granulated blast furnace slag, fly ash, pozzolan and limestone are added in order to modify the properties of the cement.

Consolidated key figures for cement in 2014
Production capacity cement in million t 211.4
Cement and grinding plants 144
Sales of cement in million t 140.3
Net sales1 in million CHF 12,509
Operating profit1 in million CHF 2,104
Personnel 44,403

1Includes all other cementitious materials   


Consolidated sales of cement 2014 per region1
Asia Pacific 71.2 million t
Latin America 24.6 million t
Europe 26.4 million t
North America 13.0 million t
Africa Middle East 8.3 million t


Inter-regional sales -3.2 million t


Aggregates include crushed stone, gravel and sand. Production centers around quarrying, preparing and sorting the raw material. Aggregates are mainly used in the manufacture of ready-mix concrete, concrete products and asphalt as well as for road building and railway tracks. The recycling of aggregates from concrete demolition material is gaining in importance at Holcim.

Consolidated key figures for aggregates in 2014
Aggregates plants 363
Sales of aggregates in million t 153.1
Net sales in million CHF 2,404
Operating profit in million CHF 214
Personnel 5,722
Consolidated sales for aggregates 2014 per region1
Asia Pacific 24.8 million t
Latin America 7.5 million t
Europe 73.1 million t
North America 45.7 million t
Africa Middle East 2.0 million t

Other construction materials and services

Globally, concrete is the second most consumed commodity by volume after water. One cubic meter consists of approximately 300 kilograms of cement, 150 liters of water and 2 tonnes of aggregates. Asphalt is a bituminous construction material used primarily for road paving. By weight, asphalt consists mainly of aggregates of differing grain size. Essentially, Holcim's service also includes construction services and international trading.


Consolidated key figures for other construction materials and services in 2014
Ready-mix concrete plants 935
Asphalt plants 84
Sales of ready-mix concrete in million m3 37.0
Sales of asphalt in million t 10.0
Net sales in million CHF 6,548
Operating profit in million CHF 0
Personnel 16,825