Zurich: Swiss cement maker Holcim AG reported on Wednesday an 80% drop in first quarter net profit, as the global economic downturn and a harsh winter in Europe and North America hit the construction industry hard.
Holcim said profits attributable to shareholders were 74 million Swiss francs ($65.3 million), compared with 370 million francs in the same quarter last year.
Sales fell 18% to 4.52 billion francs from 5.51 billion francs.
In Europe, the collapse of the housing market in Britain and Spain dragged sales down by 33% to 1.51 billion francs.
North American sales dropped 20% to 517 million francs. In Latin America they declined 16 percent to 820 million francs, while in Africa and the Middle East they dropped by 6% 296 million francs.
By contrast, sales in Asia dipped only 1% to 1.52 billion francs.