LafargeHolcim performance by country

In Mexico, cement and ready-mix concrete volumes grew steadily in 2015. This followed the sustained recovery of the Mexican economy and a rising demand for building materials due to healthy infrastructure investments and the Group company’s positioning in more profitable segments. Remittances also contributed positively to the results. Involvement in public-private projects, including a new national highway and urban train connection, reflected the value of the Group’s expertise in the region. This drove a significant increase in the Group company’s financial performance.

2015 saw mixed performance across the Group’s presence in Central America despite positive impact from remittances. El Salvador benefited from higher demand for building materials following the 2015 upturn in public-private projects and high exports, which translated into higher cement volumes. Deliveries were slightly down in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The area reported a significant rise in ready-mix concrete volumes, and increased operating EBITDA reflected progress in all three countries.

In Colombia, cement and ready-mix volumes increased in 2015, with financial performance strengthening as well in local currency. Construction activities remained strong, with the country’s ambitious public-private infrastructure development plan driving demand. The Group company continued to benefit from its strong position in the Bogota market and its expertise in value-adding higher margin solutions.

The challenging economic environment in Ecuador continued to delay construction projects as a result of liquidity constraints. Volumes in all three segments and financial performance declined in the year under review. This was mitigated by cost savings and a new contract for commercial clinker.

In Brazil, the very challenging operating environment meant volumes in the three segments decreased significantly in the year under review. Coupled with competitive pressures and cost inflation, this also resulted in a significant decline in operating EBITDA. The most profound declines were partly offset by synergy implementation and fixed-cost reductions. The performance is attributable to the recession and political uncertainty which sustained the period of low construction demand in the country.

An increase in construction activity resulted in historically high demand for building materials in Argentina, with all three segments reporting robust performance and favourable pricing. Investment activity prior to the end-of-year elections spurred activity, driven by confidence in the residential construction sector despite a generally depressed economic outlook. Cement volumes for the year were limited by plant capacity. Operating EBITDA and net sales reflected some of the strongest increases in the Group region.