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Construction suspension brings losses to Holcim

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HOLCIM PHILIPPINES, Inc. swung to a net loss in the second quarter due to the suspension of construction activities due to coronavirus-related lockdowns.

The cement manufacturer told the exchange on Thursday it booked an attributable net loss of P88.14 million in the second period, a reversal of its P716.15-million attributable net profit last year.

Net sales during the three months dropped 43% to P4.15 billion as cement volumes and prices declined when construction activities were not allowed.

For the six months from January to June, Holcim’s attributable profit went down 71% to P413.17 million, as net sales contracted 26% to P11.42 billion.

In its regulatory filing, the company said it started seeing recovery in June after the government allowed construction work to resume. However, deliveries to the Visayas and North Mindanao remained “very limited” due to road closures and port shutdowns as part of localized lockdowns.

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“All the various quarantine measures around the country dramatically slowed down construction activity,” it said. Prices also fell because of the shift to pickup and cash sales and competition-related pricing declines, it added.

Despite these, the company is hopeful to continue its climb in the second half, especially with the resumption of work on the government’s major infrastructure projects.

“We remain optimistic about the future and our ability to deliver great value to our shareholders, customers and communities while maintaining a healthy and safe workplace,” Holcim President and Chief Executive Officer John William Stull said.

Shares in Holcim at the stock exchange climbed nine centavos or 1.89% to P4.84 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez

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