LafargeHolcim earnings fall, backs 2018 view

LafargeHolcim Ltd. (LHN.EB) said on Friday that earnings fell in the first half largely due to restructuring costs, but backed its outlook for the full year.

First-half income attributable to shareholders before impairment and divestments decreased to 371 million Swiss francs ($373.8 million) from CHF651 million, while operating profit declined to CHF1.08 billion from CHF1.41 billion.

"As is the case with the operating profit, both figures are predominantly impacted by restructuring costs in connection with the simplification plan," LafargeHolcim said. The cement maker expects the restructuring plan to lead to CHF400 million in cost savings annually from the second quarter of 2019 onwards.

In the second quarter of 2018, net sales increased to CHF7.44 billion, while recurring earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to CHF1.78 billion from CHF1.77.

LagargeHolcim said increasing energy prices and cost inflation have been challenging but it has already seen some benefits from its simplification strategy and cost reduction.

The company confirmed 2018 targets for sales growth between 3% and 5% and an increase in recurring Ebitda of at least 5%.

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