Standard & Poor's announces credit rating for Holcim

11 July 2001

Standard & Poor's, London, has awarded the Holcim Group a credit rating of "A-" (long-term; outlook neg.) and "A-2" (short-term). The Board of Directors and Executive Committee welcome Standard & Poor's grade decisions.

Standard & Poor's based their assessment on Holcim's very solid market positions in the cement sector. The rating agency underscored the Group's broad geographic diversification and the cost efficiency of its individual operations. A consistently sound and stable earnings picture over the past few years and a strong free cash flow were further factors underpinning the rating.

Holcim Ltd hopes that its first-time rating will give it readier access to international capital markets and new forms of financing. Capital costs should decrease as a result of the rating. The Group is generally expected to increase its financial market appeal and attract a wider investor community.

With majority and minority interests in over 70 countries on all continents, Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement, as well as aggregates (gravel and sand), concrete and construction-related services. The Group has a workforce of just under 45 000 employees worldwide.

Please refer to today's media release from Standard & Poor's.

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