HOLCIM PHILIPPINES, Inc. reported a net profit of P1.04 billion in the fourth quarter last year, down 39.4% from a year earlier as the cement manufacturer recorded a significant drop in sales.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, it disclosed a 26.2% decrease in net sales to P7.24 billion from P9.81 billion previously.

The company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 38.6% to P1.53 billion in the fourth quarter from P2.49 billion in the same period in 2019.

For full-year 2020, net profit was down 42.5% to P2.07 billion from P3.59 billion in the previous year after net sales fell 22.3% to P26.02 billion from P33.49 billion.

“Lockdowns from March to May and severe weather conditions in the fourth quarter further affected the business. These hampered delivery of raw materials and services to production sites and dispatch of products to customers,” Holcim Philippines said.

Total attributable comprehensive income for 2020 declined by 25.5% to P1.86 billion from P2.5 billion.

The company said it rationalized costs and spending amid the health crisis to keep the business afloat.

John Stull, Holcim Philippines president and chief executive officer, said the key to the company’s “resilient 2020 performance” was its focus on health, cash, and cost.

“We improved efficiency and sustainability of operations. We also introduced new building solutions and enhanced digital tools to better serve the customers,” he said.

Holcim Philippines’ expenses on distribution went down by 18% as it saw an increase in deliveries, pushing their pickup sales higher.

The company also reported that it benefited from the global decline of fuel and energy prices.

It also focused on its online platforms. It reported a surge in users under customer portal Easybuild for orders and payments. E-Konekta also contributed significantly to the company’s performance in 2020.

“With our committed employees and loyal business partners, these improvements make us ready to help drive a faster recovery and deliver great value to all our stakeholders,” Mr. Stull added.

The company aims to maintain its gains through its recently implemented cost management systems and improvements to gain higher efficiency rates.

It is also set to invest P121.5 million until 2022 to improve the use of alternative fuels and raw materials for cement production at its plant in Bulacan.

On Monday, Holcim Philippines shares at the stock exchange inched up by 0.65% to close at P6.23 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte