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August 21, 2009

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Cement maker posts 35% profit fall

SWISS cement maker Holcim AG yesterday reported a 35 percent drop in second-quarter net profit but said there were signs the economic downturn that has hurt the construction industry was slowing in some markets, including the United States.

Holcim said net profits attributable to shareholders were 453 million Swiss francs (US$425 million), compared with 696 million francs in the same quarter last year.

Sales fell 20 percent to 5.56 billion francs from 6.93 billion francs.

After a harsh European winter, construction in the region during the second quarter remained depressed by a lack of investment activity, the company said. Sales in Europe dropped 28 percent to 2.09 billion francs.

"In the US, the deep recession continued to shape events in all markets, although the downturn became less severe in the second quarter," Holcim said.


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