Holcim expects for 2015 that the global economy continues its gradual recovery. Key construction markets of Holcim in countries like the USA, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, the UK, and the Philippines are expected to be the main growth drivers. Europe overall should have a flat development. Latin America will continue to face uncertainties in countries such as Argentina and Brazil but should overall show slight growth in 2015. The Asia Pacific region is expected to grow although at a still modest pace. Africa Middle East is expected gradually to improve.
In this environment cement volumes should increase in all Group regions in 2015 with the exception of Europe. Aggregate and ready-mix concrete volumes are expected to increase. On a stand-alone basis and unconnected to the proposed merger with Lafarge, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Holcim expect like-for-like operating profit adjusted for merger-related costs to be between CHF 2.7 billion and 2.9 billion in 2015. Higher pricing and ongoing cost savings are anticipated to offset cost inflation, leading to a further expansion in operating margins in 2015.