RPT--Holcim says quarterly profit rises; sales drop on forex impact

ZURICH, July 30 Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:42am EDT

ZURICH, July 30 (Reuters) - Swiss cement maker Holcim , which is preparing to merge with French peer Lafarge , said second-quarter net profit rose nearly 6 percent as a cost-cutting and restructuring drive helped offset the impact of a drop in sales.

The Jona-based company said net profit stood at 406 million Swiss francs ($447.78 million) in the second quarter, compared to 383 million year ago.

Unfavourable currency moves took a bite out of sales, which fell nearly 7 percent to 4.973 billion francs. Excluding the impact of currencies, sales rose 2.3 percent.

Holcim confirmed its outlook for rising cement volumes across all regions and organic growth in operating profit, as well as better operating margins this year. ($1 = 0.9067 Swiss Francs) (Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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