By James A. Loyola
Holcim Philippines, Inc. reported a 29 percent drop in net income to ₱501.54 million in the first quarter of the year from the ₱703.86 million earned in the same period of 2019 due to measures to control the COVID- 19 pandemic.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said sales revenues in the first three months of the year reached ₱7.3 billion, a 10 percent decline from the same period last year.
This is due to softer prices and lower volumes particularly towards the end of the quarter as the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine was imposed on March 16, 2020.
The ECQ halted building activities in Luzon and slowed down construction work in the rest of the country as localized quarantine measures also hampered the movement of goods and people.
The company said it continues to strictly control costs and spending as revenues remain low.
“Like the rest of the country, our company was significantly affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic and the government’s efforts to address it,” said Holcim Philippines President John Stull.
He noted that, “As a response, we took immediate steps to protect the health and safety of our people and partners and the viability of our business with actions focused on health, cost, and cash management.”
Stull said: “Our company will continue to strictly adhere to the guidance of health authorities on this matter.”
“Once the government eases the quarantine measures, we are confident that our strong health and safety culture will enable us to protect our people’s well-being in our sites and safely resume operations to support our customers and re-start building activity in the country,” he added.
The company closed sites and facilities in Luzon in compliance with the national government directive of an ECQ. It also shut down its plant in Davao City following a similar action by the local government on April 2, 2020.
Guided by best practices across the LafargeHolcim Group, Holcim Philippines is preparing plans that will enable it to operate safely once the quarantine is lifted.
Furthermore, the company is shifting its corporate citizenship budget to provide medical supplies to hospitals treating coronavirus patients, and food and hygiene products to communities hosting its facilities in La Union, Bulacan, Manila, Batangas, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental and Davao City.