Profitable growth continues, record results in H1

  • Growth momentum continues, net sales +16.6% LFL

  • Significant margin increase in all regions, Recurring EBIT +72.2% LFL

  • Record Free Cash Flow1 of CHF 814m, +9%

  • 7 bolt-on acquisitions, successful start of Firestone Building Products

  • Guidance for FY2021 Recurring EBIT growth upgraded to at least 18% LFL

  • ECOPlanet launched globally and ECOPact now in all regions

Performance overview H1
Group (in million CHF) H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Net sales  12,556 10,693 +17.4 +16.6
Recurring EBIT 1,983 1,194 +66.1 +72.2
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 15.8 11.2    
Operating profit (EBIT) 1,794 1,005 +78.6  
Net income2 839 347 +142.1  
Net income before impairment and divestments2 881 501 +76.0  
EPS before impairment and divestments (CHF) 1.43 0.80 +77.8  
Free Cash Flowafter leases 814 749 +8.6  
Net financial debt 12,438 10,652 +16.8  


Jan Jenisch, CEO: “As we close H1 under our new Group identity, I sincerely thank all members of the Holcim family for the teamwork and resilience they continue to demonstrate to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. I am proud of how our 70,000 colleagues around the world are protecting our people and communities, with health and safety top of mind, while supporting our customers.

“At this time last year I said that Holcim would emerge stronger from this crisis. These half-year results prove it. In the first half of 2021 we set new records in Recurring EBIT, free cash flow and earnings per share3. I congratulate our teams for this remarkable achievement and for giving me the confidence to revise our 2021 guidance for Recurring EBIT growth to at least 18 like for like.

“I’m pleased by the strong start of the Firestone business, with its double-digit volume growth and expansion into Latin America. Also, our growth momentum continued in mature markets, fueled by seven bolt-on acquisitions. Advancing our vision to become the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, we launched our global green cement range ECOPlanet following the success of ECOPact green concrete, accelerating sustainable construction around the world.”


Record Recurring EBIT, EPS3 and Free Cash Flow1 growth in H1

Net sales of CHF 12,556 million for the first half of 2021 were up 16.6 on a like-for-like basis (LFL) compared to the prior year. The record increase was driven by volume growth in all regions and segments. Net sales in the second quarter alone were CHF 7,194 million, or 25.5 higher LFL than the prior-year period.

Recurring EBIT reached a record CHF 1,983 million for the first half of 2021, up 72.2 on a like-for-like basis compared to the prior-year period. This record result was driven by significant margin improvement in all business segments.

Earnings per share3 increased by 77.8 to reach CHF 1.43 for the first half of 2021 versus CHF 0.80 for H1 2020.

Free Cash Flow after leases was at CHF 814 million in the first half of 2021 versus CHF 749 million in H1 2020, up 8.6 , as the measures taken to protect the business during the global pandemic continued to deliver efficiencies.

Firestone Building Products starts strong; 7 bolt-on acquisitions in H1 to fuel future growth

With the acquisition of Firestone Building Products officially closed as of 31 March 2021, the company experienced strong demand in all product lines and regions with volumes up 21 in Q2. Firestone Building Products has already begun to leverage the Holcim global procurement and sales network, notably in Latin America, where Holcim Mexico introduced GacoFlex TechoProtec. Holcim also continued to develop its portfolio through seven bolt-on acquisitions in the first half of 2021, building capacity in mature European and North American markets, primarily in aggregates and ready-mix concrete.

Pursuing its ongoing portfolio optimization, in H1 Holcim entered agreements to divest operations in Zambia, Malawi and the Indian Ocean. Closing of all transactions is expected by year-end.

Leadership in green building solutions continues with ECOPlanet and ECOPact

Holcim continued to progress in its sustainability ambitions by introducing ECOPlanet, an innovative range of green cement that delivers at least 30 lower carbon footprint with equal to superior performance. ECOPlanet will be distributed across 15 markets in 2021. This builds on the success of ECOPact, the world’s broadest range of green concrete, which is now available in 24 markets across all regions.

Change in Executive Committee

The Board of Directors appointed Matthias Gaertner as Head of Legal and Compliance and member of the Group Executive Committee, effective 1 September 2021.

Matthias Gaertner, previously General Counsel of Honeywell Building Technologies, is a proven senior legal leader in innovation-driven building solutions with a strong track record in international mergers & acquisitions and compliance.

He succeeds Keith Carr who decided to pursue new opportunities outside of Holcim. He will continue to serve the company until the end of the year to ensure a seamless transition. The Board and Executive Committee sincerely thank Keith for his many contributions to the company's success.


Holcim expects the growth momentum to continue in all regions, supported as of H2 2021 from various stimulus programs. The company expects to continue the growth of Firestone Building Products and pursue further bolt-on acquisitions, while accelerating progress towards its 2030 sustainability targets.

For 2021 the company will deliver the following, with upgraded guidance on Recurring EBIT growth:

  • Over-proportional growth in Recurring EBIT of at least 18 LFL (from at least 10 LFL previously)
  • Capex less than CHF 1.4bn
  • Return on invested capital above 8%

Moreover, Holcim expects to achieve all Strategy 2022 targets one year in advance.

Key Group figures
Group Q2 2021 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Net sales (CHFm) 7,194 5,400 +33.2 +25.5
Recurring EBIT (CHFm) 1,455 932 +56.1 +55.8
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 20.2 17.3    
Group H1 (in million CHF) 2021 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Net sales  12,556 10,693 +17.4 +16.6
Recurring EBIT 1,983 1,194 +66.1 +72.2
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 15.8 11.2    
Operating profit (EBIT) 1,794 1,005 +78.6  
Net income2 839 347 +142.1  
Net income before impairment and divestments2 881 501 +76.0  
EPS before impairment and divestments (CHF) 1.43 0.80 +77.8  
Free Cash Flowafter leases 814 749 +8.6  
Net financial debt 12,438 10,652 +16.8  
Group results by segment H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Sales of cement (mt) 99.0 87.2 +13.5 +13.2
Net sales of Cement (CHFm) 7,932 7,029 +12.9 +20.3
Recurring EBIT of Cement (CHFm) 1,654 1,131 +46.3 +57.5
Recurring EBIT margin of Cement (%)  20.9 16.1    
Sales of aggregates (mt) 123.0 113.8 +8.1 +6.2
Net sales of Aggregates (CHFm)  1,864 1,699 +9.7 +7.2
Recurring EBIT of Aggregates (CHFm)  217 101 +115.2 +107.0
Recurring EBIT margin of Aggregates (%)  11.6 5.9    
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 22.1 19.2 +15.6 +13.9
Net sales of Ready-Mix Concrete (CHFm) 2,462 2,103 +17.1 +14.3
Recurring EBIT of Ready-Mix Concrete (CHFm) 40 -47 +184.0 +183.9
Recurring EBIT margin of Ready-Mix Concrete (%) 1.6 -2.2    
Net sales of Solutions & Products (CHFm) 1,423 819 +73.8 +8.7
Recurring EBIT of Solutions & Products (CHFm) 72 6 n.m. n.m.
Recurring EBIT margin of Solutions & Products (%) 5.1 0.8    
Regional H1 performance
Region Asia Pacific

The Recurring EBIT margin expansion for the first six months of 2021 of 5.7pp was the highest of all the regions. This strong performance was driven by robust cement volume growth across the region and the good performance in Australia, which benefited from government stimulus programs. India delivered outstanding margin improvement despite a second wave of COVID-19 infections and inflationary pressure. Marwar Mundwa cement capacity expansion in India will commence operations in Q3 2021.

Asia Pacific H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Sales of cement (mt) 35.8 28.0 +27.9 +28.0
Sales of aggregates (mt) 16.9 13.1 +28.4 +12.5
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 3.9 3.6 +8.6 +8.6
Net sales to external customers (CHFm) 2,998 2,413 +24.3 +25.9
Recurring EBIT (CHFm) 713 437 +63.1 +65.8
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 23.8 18.1    
Region Europe

The good momentum continued, with strong recovery in the UK, solid demand in France and continuous growth in Eastern European markets. Market demand was robust in all business segments, driving significant over-proportional Recurring EBIT growth. Plant modernization in Martres, France, remains on track to expand the opportunities for further growth.

Europe H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Sales of cement (mt) 22.2 20.9 +6.2 +6.2
Sales of aggregates (mt) 56.1 51.9 +8.2 +8.6
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 9.9 8.3 +20.1 +17.9
Net sales to external customers (CHFm) 3,886 3,274 +18.7 +14.2
Recurring EBIT (CHFm) 469 288 +62.9 +58.5
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 11.9 8.7    
Region Latin America

The region delivered another quarter of outstanding performance for a record first half of the year. Outstanding volume growth in all business segments drove strong improvement in the Recurring EBIT margin. The company is positioned to capture continued growth in the Mexican market with the opening of a new grinding station in Merida and the launch of Firestone-branded products to be sold across the country’s Disensa retail network.

Latin America H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Sales of cement (mt) 13.3 10.4 +28.3 +28.3
Sales of aggregates (mt) 2.9 2.2 +33.8 +33.8
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 2.3 1.6 +39.1 +39.1
Net sales to external customers (CHFm) 1,269 980 +29.5 +48.8
Recurring EBIT (CHFm) 425 275 +54.5 +78.7
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 33.2 27.9    
Region Middle East Africa

Strong performance, particularly in Nigeria and Iraq, supported a record Recurring EBIT margin improvement of 4.8 percentage points, with strong volume growth across all business segments. The East Africa region experienced broad recovery, with Kenya benefitting especially from infrastructure spending.

Middle East Africa H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Sales of cement (mt) 17.8 15.6 +14.6 +11.7
Sales of aggregates (mt) 2.0 1.4 +43.3 +43.3
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 1.4 1.2 +17.2 +8.0
Net sales to external customers (CHFm) 1,162 1,177 -1.3 +15.1
Recurring EBIT (CHFm) 198 137 +44.6 +76.7
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 16.2 11.5    
Region North America

The region showed good momentum to deliver a strong margin improvement overall, with strong market demand in the US and good recovery in Canada West. In Canada East demand was supported by key projects in Montreal and Toronto. Volumes grew in all business segments in the second quarter and pricing was positive.

North America H1 2021 H1 2020 ±% ±% LFL
Sales of cement (mt) 9.1 8.9 +2.3 +2.3
Sales of aggregates (mt) 45.2 45.2 -0.1 -0.9
Sales of ready-mix concrete (m m3) 4.7 4.5 +3.8 +3.0
Net sales to external customers (CHFm) 2,984 2,566 +16.3 +1.4
Recurring EBIT (CHFm) 380 260 +46.4 +31.7
Recurring EBIT margin (%) 12.6 10.1    
Reconciliation to Group accounts

Reconciling measures of profit and loss to the Holcim’ Group’s consolidated statement of income:

In million CHF H1 2021
H1 2020
Net sales 12,556 10,693
Recurring operating costs (9,834) (8,717)
Share of profit of joint ventures 207 176
Recurring EBITDA after leases 2,928 2,152
Depreciation and amortization of property, plant and equipment, intangible and long-term assets (945) (958)
Recurring EBIT 1,983 1,194
Restructuring, litigation and other non-recurring costs (175) (39)
Impairment of operating assets (13) (151)
Operating profit  1,794 1,005
In million CHF H1 2021
H1 2020
Recurring EBITDA after leases 2,928 2,152
Depreciation of right-of-use assets 176 185
Recurring EBITDA 3,105 2,337
In million CHF H1 2021
H1 2020
Net income before impairment and divestments 1,114 601
Net income before impairment and divestments, Non-controlling interests 233 100
Net income before impairment and divestments, Group share 881 501
Impairment (10) (143)
Profit/(loss) on divestments (32) (11)
Net income 1,072 447

Adjustments disclosed net of taxation. 


Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow after leases to the Holcim Group’s Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

In million CHF H1 2021
H1 2020
Cash flow from operating activities 1,457 1,330
Purchase of property, plant and equipment (519) (442)
Disposal of property, plant and equipment  51 30
Repayment of long-term lease liabilities (176) (169)
Free Cash Flow after leases 814 749


Reconciliation of Net financial debt to the Holcim Group’s consolidated statement of financial position

In million CHF H1 2021
H1 2020
Current financial liabilities 2,536 2,736
Long-term financial liabilities 13,465 11,697
Cash and cash equivalents 3,465 3,736
Short-term derivative assets  63 14
Long-term derivative assets 36 31
Net financial debt 12,438 10,652

after leases

2 Group share

3 before impairment and divestments

Non-GAAP definitions
Some non-GAAP measures are used in this release to help describe the performance of Holcim.


Additional information

Analyst presentation
The analyst presentation of the results and our 2021 half-year report are available at the top of this page.
Media conference: 09:00 CEST
Analyst conference: 10:00 CEST
Switzerland: +41 (0) 58 310 50 00
France: +33 (0) 1 7091 8706
UK: +44 (0) 207 107 06 13
US: +1 (1) 631 570 56 13

Due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, the media conference at 09:00am CEST and analyst’s conference at 10:00am CEST will be held virtually.
The financial statements are based on IFRS can be found on the Holcim website.

About Holcim
Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.

Important disclaimer – forward-looking statements:
This document contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements do not constitute forecasts regarding results or any other performance indicator, but rather trends or targets, as the case may be, including with respect to plans, initiatives, events, products, solutions and services, their development and potential. Although Holcim believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, investors are cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Holcim, including but not limited to the risks described in the Holcim's annual report available on its website ( and uncertainties related to the market conditions and the implementation of our plans. Accordingly, we caution you against relying on forward-looking statements. Holcim does not undertake to provide updates of these forward-looking statements.


Half Year 2021 Results Analyst call replay

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