U.S. News

LafargeHolcim 'ideally positioned' to benefit from Trump's trillion-dollar infrastructure plan: CEO

We must be uncompromising on business conduct: LafargeHolcim CEO

LafargeHolcim is "ideally positioned" to profit from substantial infrastructure spending in the U.S. according to Chief Executive Eric Olsen, after the world's largest cement maker reported better-than-expected earnings results Thursday.

Olsen said the Swiss-French company, which is the leading cement producer in the U.S., would stand to make significant gains following U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on Tuesday that he will seek approval from Congress for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

"We believe we stand to benefit very well from these investments going forward… a trillion (dollars) of investments in infrastructure is a real commitment," Olsen told CNBC on Thursday.

The bullish outlook for the U.S.'s leading cement producer followed better-than-expected earnings figures in the final three months of 2016. LafargeHolcim reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 1.61 billion Swiss francs ($1.59 billion) which beat the average analyst forecast of 1.52 billion francs in a Reuters poll.

"I think the important thing to remember about the U.S. is that, yes there is going to be, we believe, a big commitment and a big increase in infrastructure investment but as well the overall cycle in our industry is on the upswing. And we would expect (this upswing) to continue to be that way at least for the next three, four (or even) five years," Olsen added.

However, LafargeHolcim's earnings were somewhat tainted as the company confessed to taking "unacceptable" measures in order to keep its Syrian plant open, after allegations had surfaced its employees had dealt with arms groups in the country.

"For us at LafargeHolcim, (the code of business conduct) is absolutely uncompromising," Olsen told CNBC on Thursday.

"We will take all the necessary measures to address this situation," he concluded.