Holcim Philippines cement sales surge despite rainy months


Updated Wed, 18 Nov 2009 00:00:00 GMT

Holcim Philippines Inc. recently reported P855 million in third-quarter profit, a nine-fold increase from P97 million a year earlier as demand for cement soared particularly in Mindanao.

Revenue in the same period jumped 30 percent to P5.5 billion from P4.2 billion, the company said.

July to September is historically a slow period for the cement industry as construction work is on hold until the end of the rainy season, but "there was no such downtrend this year and, in fact, we experienced volume growth across all regions," Ian Thackwray, Holcim Philippines' chief operating officer, he said in a statement.

The company said its net income for the first nine months more than doubled to P2.8 billion from P1.3 billion a year earlier.

Demand for cement grew 18 percent a month on average, according to Holcim, and that allowed it to register P17 billion in revenue for the first nine months or 23 percent more than the P13.7 billion it took in the same period last year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 60 percent to P5.8 billion in the year to September from P3.6 billion, the company said.

With an improved net working capital, the company succeeded in generating P5.8 billion in cash flow from operations.

Demand grew in all regions, but Mindanao posted exceptional growth, Thackwray said and claimed that Holcim had the strategic edge in the region because its cement plants were in Davao City and Lugait, Misamis Oriental.

Sales volume in Mindanao grew 25 percent in the third quarter, Beng Prado, Holcim's vice president for corporate communications, said but declined to give more details, citing company policy.

Metro Manila and Luzon "still accounts for the bulk of our sales, but sales volumes were up only 12 percent during the period," Prado said.

Holcim also has cement factories in Bulacan and La Union.