Switzerland: LafargeHolcim’s consolidated net sales in 2020 were Euro21.1bn, down by 5.6% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis from Euro24.4bn in 2019. The group recorded recurring earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) of Euro3.35bn, down by 2% from Euro3.74bn. Its cement sales fell to 190Mt, down by 7% from 208Mt. It noted an increase in bagged cement sales in emerging markets.
By region the group reported like-for-like growth in sales and earnings in Asia-Pacific driven by recovery in India and China despite weaknesses in the Philippines and Australia. Earnings rose despite falling sales in Europe, Latin America and North America with a resilient market noted in Central Europe and an ‘outstanding’ year reported in Latin America. Middle East Africa reported falling cement demand and adverse market affects from the coronavirus pandemic, although Nigeria remained buoyant.
Chief executive officer Jan Jenisch said, “2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone, challenging us to be more resilient, while stepping up to take care of those around us.” He added, “This crisis has really proven the resilience of our strategy and business model. By the fourth quarter of 2020 we were back to growth, with a 1.5% increase in net sales and over-proportional recurring EBIT of 14%.” The group completed eight ‘bolt-on’ acquisitions in 2020 and signed an agreement to acquire Firestone Building Products, a producer of flat-roofing systems in the US. It also claimed that, “Every tonne of cement we produced in 2020 was more carbon-efficient and contained more recycled material than the year before.”