ZURICH (Reuters) – LafargeHolcim <LHN.S> more than doubled net profit during the first half of 2019, the world’s largest cement maker said on Wednesday, and confirmed its full-year outlook.
The Swiss company increased its first half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation by 11% on a like-for-like basis to 2.66 billion Swiss francs (£2.21 billion).
During the second quarter, this figure rose 7.1% to 1.85 billion francs, slightly better than the 1.83 billion expected by analysts. First-half net profit more than doubled to 780 million francs from 371 million francs a year earlier.
LafargeHolcim spent 229 million francs less on restructuring costs as the company completed its costs savings programme, while net financial expenses were also lower as it refinanced and reduced its debt.
The company has reduced its debts by 30% to 11.34 billion francs, a figure achieved by unloading its operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, while it is also disposing of its operations in the Philippines.
For 2019, LafargeHolcim said it expected to see continued market growth in North America and continued strong demand in Europe, as well as demand growth in its Asia Pacific region.
It confirmed its goal of increasing net sales by 3 to 5% on a like-for-like basis and improving recurring EBITDA by at least 5%.
(This story corrects year in lede to 2019, not 2018)
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Thomas Seythal)