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Holcim Philippines to restart mothballed cement production line

World Cement,

In light of its strong performance in the first half of this fiscal, and strong national demand, Holcim Philippines has announced that it will restart the second production line of its Misamis Oriental plant in November this year.

Solid growth
In the financial results released last month, the company reported revenue growth of 14% in the second quarter, to P6 billion, on the back of a 2.9% increase in cement demand over the same period. Despite the global economic downturn, the company has recorded steady growth over the last 18 months, a fact that has been attributed in part to the Group’s global efforts to increase efficiency, but also to the Filipino government’s economic stimulus programme.

Economic stimulus
In a bid to ‘beat the recession’ the government has pumped billions into infrastructure development, which helped the economy to expand by 1.5% in the April – June 09 period, beating expectations. Critics claim that the splurge has left the country with a massive budget deficit and that GDP growth will not be sustained over the rest of the year. However, the government is clamping down on tax evaders as a way to regain the expended revenue.

Meeting demand
Holcim Philippines, meanwhile, has confidence in the government’s plans. In a recent interview, the company’s COO Ian Thackwray told national newspaper, The Business Mirror: “We recognise that the government is hard at work, pump-priming the economy with infrastructure projects, and we want to make sure that we are able to continue supporting this initiative. By operating a second line in Lugait, we ensure that there continues to be sufficient market supply.”

The second line will boost the company’s annual capacity to 884 000 tpa, a 12.4% increase from current levels. It will also create employment opportunities for up to 140 people. Holcim controls approximately one third of the market in the Philippines.

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