Switzerland-based Holcim has posted a net profit of SFr611 million ($586.5 million) for the first half of 2010, down 22.4 per cent against the same period last year.
The world’s second-largest cement maker said in a report published on Thursday that a slow recovery in European construction had eaten into second-quarter profits, which slumped 12 per cent to SFr399 million.
Net sales for the first six months of 2010 had topped SFr10.9 billion, up 8.1 per cent. The figures beat analysts’ expectations of SFr469 million in profit on sales of SFr10.7 billion.
Holcim says it has seen some signs of improvement, particularly in the United States where cement consumption is up for the first time in years. However, it cautioned that the recovery
is still uncertain but that demand is expected to grow in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The company employs around 80,000 people with production sites in about 70 countries. In 2009, Holcim recorded sales of over SFr21 billion Swiss francs.
Shares in the company opened on Thursday four per cent lower at SFr64.95 on the Zurich exchange.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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