Media Release on Financial Year 2013


  • Net income up sharply by 59 percent to CHF 1.60 billion
  • Operating profit up by a third to CHF 2.36 billion
  • Net sales down 6.8 percent – slight increase on like-for-like basis
  • Net financial debt down CHF 864 million to CHF 9.46 billion
  • Payout of CHF 1.30 per registered share


Fourth quarter 2013

  • Net income and operating profit up sharply
  • Like-for-like growth in sales of cement and aggregates
  • Improvement in EBITDA margin

Outlook for 2014

  • Higher demand for cement in all Group regions
  • Organic growth in operating profit
  • Holcim Leadership Journey contributes to improved operating margins

CEO Bernard Fontana: “Holcim generated a solid result in the 2013 financial year. Despite difficult market conditions, as a result of which volumes in all three segments were below those recorded last year, the operating EBITDA margin and net income increased due to the consistent implementation of the Holcim Leadership Journey.”

In the 2013 financial year, Holcim achieved cement sales of 138.9 million tonnes, compared to 142.3 tonnes in the previous year. The 2.4 percent fall was mainly attributable to lower volumes in Group region Asia Pacific, while in Europe cement sales were higher mainly due to the sustained high demand in Russia and Azerbaijan.

Aggregates volumes contracted in 2013 by 2.4 percent to 154.5 million tonnes. The demand for crushed stone, gravel and sand was higher in North America due to positive market development in the US. In Asia Pacific volumes were lower mainly on account of lower demand in Australia. Restructuring of aggregates activities resulted in a more pronounced fall in volumes in Latin America.

Deliveries of ready-mix concrete fell by 12.9 percent to 39.5 million cubic meters, as many Group companies were restructuring their activities to improve their profitability in this segment. Asphalt sales were impacted by lower demand in Canada and the US, while sales in the United Kingdom were higher. Consolidated volumes contracted by 2 percent to 8.9 million tonnes.

Net sales were down 6.8 percent to CHF 19.72 billion, but increased on a like-for-like basis by 0.2 percent. It was significantly harder to implement price increases in various markets than in the previous year. The Swiss franc exchange rate rose in 2013 against various currencies, particularly the Indian, Indonesian, and Brazilian currencies, while it weakened in respect of the Euro. Overall, this had an adverse impact of CHF 798 million on the net sales.

Holcim achieved operating EBITDA of CHF 3.90 billion compared to CHF 3.89 billion in the previous year. A clearly positive contribution was made by Holcim US and the Group companies in the UK, Germany, Ecuador and the Philippines. By contrast, operating EBITDA was negatively impacted by the Group companies in India, Mexico, Canada, and Brazil. On a like-for-like basis operating EBITDA rose by 7.0 percent, while 2012 operating EBITDA had been impacted by restructuring costs of CHF 239 million.

Operating profit improved by 34.8 percent to CHF 2.36 billion, up from CHF 1.75 billion. The Holcim Leadership Journey made a significant contribution to the positive result and achieved the objectives set for 2013. The various work streams of the Holcim Leadership Journey, which particularly gathered pace from the middle of the year, contributed CHF 943 million to consolidated operating profit. This means that the Holcim Leadership Journey, together with the achievements of 2012, made a total contribution of CHF 1.10 billion. ROIC before taxes rose from 6.8 percent in 2012 to 9.1 percent.

Net income rose sharply by 59.3 percent to CHF 1.60 billion, up from CHF 1.00 billion. Net income attributable to shareholders doubled to CHF 1.27 billion from CHF 610 million.

Holcim continues to maintain a strong balance sheet and a good balance between equity and debt, with the Group’s net debt falling by CHF 864 million to CHF 9.46 billion.

Cash flow improved to CHF 2.79 billion from CHF 2.64 billion.

Fourth quarter
In the fourth quarter cement deliveries contracted by 1.9 percent to 34.6 million tonnes. Sales of aggregates rose by 1.7 percent to 39.7 million tonnes, on a like-for-like basis by 3.8 percent. Sales of ready-mix concrete declined by 8.5 percent to 10 million cubic meters and fell on a like-for-like basis by 5.1 percent.

Net sales were down 9.0 percent to CHF 4.78 billion, but increased on a like-for-like basis by 1.5 percent. Operating EBITDA rose by 16.3 percent to CHF 945 million. The prior-year period was weighed down by restructuring costs of CHF 181 million. On a like-for-like basis the increase amounted to 29.7 percent.

Operating profit climbed to CHF 559 million, compared to CHF -81 million in the prior-year period, after it had been significantly impacted by restructuring costs of CHF 638 million in 2012.

Net income amounted to CHF 319 million after a loss of CHF 91 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

Aim to further optimize value creation
Thanks to Holcim’s existing global footprint, the Group can moderate its expansion capex to lower levels. The Group is currently concentrating on generating optimum added value from the investments made in the previous years. Holcim still continues to invest as shown by the existing pipeline of projects for example in Brazil, India and Indonesia.

Proposals to the Annual General Meeting - payout
The Group is adhering to its principle that one-third of net income attributable to shareholders of Holcim Ltd should be distributed to shareholders. At the Annual General Meeting at the end of April 2014, the Board of Directors will propose increasing the payout per each registered share by 13 percent to CHF 1.30.

Outlook for 2014
For 2014 Holcim expects the global economies to show another year of uneven performance. Construction markets in Europe are expected to have reached the bottom with slow recovery in sight. At the same time, North American markets are expected to continue to benefit from a further recovery especially in the United States. Latin America on the other hand could continue to face uncertainties in Mexico but should overall show slight growth in 2014. The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow although at a comparatively slower pace than experienced in recent years. Africa Middle East is expected to gradually improve.

Holcim expects cement volumes to increase in all Group regions in 2014. Aggregates volumes are expected to remain flat overall as increases in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Africa Middle East are offset by negative volumes in Latin America. In ready-mix concrete volumes are also expected to increase in most regions with the exception of Europe and Latin America.

The Board of Directors and Executive Committee expect that organic growth in operating profit can be achieved in 2014. The ongoing focus on the cost base coupled with all the benefits expected from the Holcim Leadership Journey will lead to a further expansion in operating margins in 2014.


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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in around 70 countries on all continents.
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