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Holcim hoping to ride construction boom, control costs

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HOLCIM Philippines, Inc. has outlined its priorities this year, including plans to seize opportunities brought about by an ongoing construction boom, its new head said.

John Stull, Holcim’s president and chief executive officer, said the cement manufacturer and distributor will focus on operational improvements, tighter cost management and new building solutions.

He said the moves position the company to better benefit from and support strengthening construction activity in the country.

Mr. Stull announced the company’s plans during the shareholder meeting on Friday in which he said Holcim aims to improve its ability to supply the market more efficiently and provide value-adding offerings to its building industry partners.

“Last year, we started projects to raise cement production capacity nationwide to 12 million metric tons by 2019. While these projects have just started, we are already considering more investments to raise clinker capacity given the positive projections for the construction industry,” he said.

Mr. Stull told Holcim shareholders that the company is bolstering its equipment maintenance programs while continuing to streamline logistics systems and processes for more reliable customer service.

This year, the company has allotted P2.4 billion for capital expenditures in line with plans to raise production capacity.

“Before further raising production capacity, we have to make sure we are getting as much as we can from our plants. For this, we worked with the LafargeHolcim Group to strengthen the culture of excellence in our facilities. We also implemented logistics excellence initiatives so our business partners and customers receive products when and where they need it,” Mr. Stull said.

Holcim earlier reported a first quarter net profit of P700 million, down from P940 million in the same period last year.

“The decline was due to lower cement prices from increased competition and higher production expenses,” the company said.

On Friday, Holcim Philippines shares rose 1.03% to P8.85. — Victor V. Saulon