Asia Pacific benefits from rebound in India

Growth in key economies of the region

Asia Pacific’s economic climate was characterized by the start of a rebound in the Indian economy and solid growth levels in most other major markets in the region.

India’s economic environment was lackluster over the first months of 2014, but following the federal elections signs of improvement became stronger as the new government kicked off a number of projects to stimulate growth. Sri Lanka’s economy remained in solid shape, and Bangladesh reported significant growth despite some political uncertainties. The economic environment in Vietnam remained challenging despite solid growth. In 2014, Malaysia again benefited from public investment while Singapore’s growth was less dynamic. The Philippine economy grew on solid levels, driven by the service and manufacturing industries as well as strong household spending, and Indonesia also recorded robust growth although lower than expectations due to the election in 2014. Growth in Australia moderated due to a sharp decline in resource sector investment and subdued non-mining business investment, while in New Zealand economic activity was dynamic.

Demand for building materials increases in most markets

India’s construction markets gradually turned more positive in the course of 2014. Infrastructure investment remained comparably low but the situation for residential projects was more positive despite high inflation and interest rates. While Sri Lanka’s construction market recovered from the challenging previous year, Bangladesh continued to be strongly positive also in 2014. Vietnam continued to face oversupply of many building materials, but Malaysia again benefited from various infrastructure projects. Singapore’s construction sector suffered from a sharp slowdown. The positive economic climate continued to drive construction projects in the Philippines with strong government spending as a main contributor. Construction spending in Indonesia was less dynamic as a result of the national elections, but demand for housing remained high. Total construction activity in Australia declined in 2014 as a result of the cyclical downturn, despite residential construction growing strongly. New Zealand’s construction sector was in good shape with a solid increase in cement consumption.

Consolidated key figures Asia Pacific

 

2014

2013

±%

±% LFL*

*

Like-for-like, i.e. factoring out changes in the scope of consolidation and currency translation effects.

Production capacity cement in million t

96.4

90.3

+6.8

 

Cement and grinding plants

54

51

 

 

Aggregates plants

72

84

 

 

Ready-mix concrete plants

290

320

 

 

Sales of cement in million t

71.2

70.3

+1.4

+2.0

Sales of mineral components in million t

0.6

0.7

–11.2

+6.3

Sales of aggregates in million t

24.8

25.2

–1.5

–1.5

Sales of ready-mix concrete in million m3

10.8

10.9

–0.8

–0.6

Net sales in million CHF

6,970

7,282

–4.3

+3.8

Operating EBITDA in million CHF

1,332

1,473

–9.5

–1.7

Operating EBITDA margin in %

19.1

20.2

 

 

Operating profit in million CHF

934

1,030

–9.4

–1.7

Operating profit margin in %

13.4

14.1

 

 

Personnel

31,850

34,080

–6.5

–6.5