Cement industry volumes grow at fastest pace in 15 years


Posted at Feb 26 2013 09:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2013 05:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The cement industry volumes rose 18% in 2012, the highest growth in 15 years, a sign of the robust construction activity in the country.

The growth in volume is attributed to the strong construction activity in both public and private sectors.
The Cement Manufacturers Association (CeMap) reported an 18% jump in market demand, "the highest growth in 15 years."

Holcim Philippines (HPHI), a leading cement manufacturer, also reported record volumes in 2012. This lead the company's profits to surge 80% to P3.63 billion in 2012 from P2.03 billion a year ago.

Sales revenues jumped 25.5% to P27.16 billion, on the company's efforts to improve operating and process efficiency, and manage fixed and support costs.
"We strongly benefited from the rebound in public infrastructure spending and the private sector's continuing participation in construction across the country," said HPHI Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Sahagun in a statement.
The construction sector is one of the major contributors to the economy's growth in 2012. Public construction jumped 32.4%, while private construction grew by 8.6% growth.

HPHI decided to import clinker last year to ensure steady supply.

For 2013, Sahagun is optimistic the company will see stronger construction activities, especially with several public private partnership projects in the pipeline.

"This is an exciting time for our company. The growing economy presents us with tremendous opportunities and we intend to fully participate in this growth," he said.

HPHI will put in place initiatives to further expand capacity such as reopening its grinding facility in Mabini, Batangas by the third quarter.

The company said it will present a proposal for a new brownfield plant in Norzagaray, Bulacan to its board and principals in Zurich by April.

Based on initial plans, the plant will have a capacity of 2 million metric tons a year. The plant is expected to be operational by 2016 and boost its current production capacity of 7.5 million metric tons per year.