Holcim experienced higher sales volumes in all segments, and in several markets prices could be adjusted. However, this was not enough to fully absorb the above-average cost increases for raw materials and energy sources, such as coal and petcoke, as well as for distribution.
Operating EBITDA improved in Group region North America. It also increased in Europe, when excluding the delayed sales of CO2 emissions certificates, which amounted to CHF 65 million in the first quarter of 2010. On a like-for-like basis, operating EBITDA also rose in Asia Pacific.
Sales development and financial results
Consolidated cement deliveries rose by 7.2 percent to 33.2 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2011. In absolute terms, the largest volume increases were achieved in Asia Pacific followed by Europe and Latin America. Sales of aggregates were up by 16.3 percent to 34.3 million tonnes due to improved demand in all Group regions with the exception of Africa Middle East. All Group regions contributed to the increase in deliveries of ready-mix concrete by 9.8 percent to 10.4 million cubic meters. Sales of asphalt increased by 3.5 percent to 1.7 million tonnes.
Consolidated net sales remained, with CHF 4.7 billion or a minus of 1.8 percent, quite stable; operating EBITDA decreased by 17.1 percent to CHF 753 million for the reasons mentioned above. Internal operating EBITDA development of the Group was negative at
-9.1 percent. Due to seasonal factors, cash flow from operating activities came to CHF
Net income increased by 85.1 percent to CHF 122 million, and the share of net income attributable to shareholders of Holcim Ltd rose by 114.2 percent to CHF 10 million. However, the previous year’s first quarter had a non-recurring cash-neutral tax charge of CHF 182 million in connection with the restructuring of the Group’s interests in North America and no CO2 emissions certificates have been sold yet in 2011. In the previous year, this amounted to CHF 65 million.