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Holderbank to build on healthy profits

Holderbank half-year profits graphic

The Swiss Holderbank company, one of the world's leading suppliers of cement, has reported that net profit for the first half of the year rose by 13.2 per cent to SFr352 million ($201.4 million).

In a statement on Thursday from its headquarters in Glarus, Holderbank said net sales went up by 17 per cent to SFr6.621 billion, lifted in part by the strength of the dollar.

“The solid financial sales reflect not only higher sales but also efficiency improvements and, in some cases, better prices,” the company said.

It added that Latin America was a key contributor to group net income.

The company said it expected to meet its financial targets for the year, barring any major market upsets or exchange rate fluctuations.

On Thursday, Holderbank said it was to spend $42 million on a cement grinding station in Bangladesh. It said it would invest in a new cement mill to meet growing demand.

Investments by Holderbank in the first six months totalled SFr1.267 billion (compared to SFr963 million in the first half 1999), and went mainly into businesses in Guatemala and Egypt, as well as in projects to expand and maintain productive capacity and secure competitiveness.

First-half net profits fell short of analysts’ expectations – they had estimated that net profits would rise to between SFr371 and SFr402 million.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR