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LafargeHolcim posted strong growth in Latin America in 2017

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World Cement,

LafargeHolcim reported a substantial increase in earnings from its Latin America business on the back of strong performance in Argentina and Mexico. The focus in Brazil remained on managing costs through a recession that has now lasted since 2014.

Sales of cement were up 5.6% on a like-for-like basis at 24.9 million t, helping to offset falls in the aggregates and ready-mixed concrete businesses. Recurring EBITDA hit €1.05 billion, a 22.9% like-for-like increase on 2016.

“Major infrastructure projects drove demand in Mexico, while there was a general pick-up in Argentina, notable in housing, due to broad economic and political improvements,” the company said in its annual report.

Mexico is LafargeHolcim’s largest business in Latin America on an installed capacity basis with 12.2 million tpy, followed by Brazil, Ecuador, and Argentina. Overall, the company has 39.3 million tpy of installed capacity in the region, spread over 30 cement and grinding plants.

LafargeHolcim has been investing in its Argentinian capacity, allowing it to increase capacity in the country by 0.2 million tpy over the last three years. In December 2017, the company also announced a US$120 million expansion of its plant in Argentina’s Cordoba province, with work expected to begin next year.

The expansion will include a new kiln and milling circuit, as well as a reconfiguration of the shipping and dispatch area, local media reported.

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