ZURICH Feb 27 Swiss cement maker Holcim expects higher cement sales and operating profit in 2013 after it posted a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.
The world's largest maker of cement by market capitalisation posted a fourth-quarter net loss after minorities of 161 million Swiss francs ($173.09 million), hit by $510 million of restructuring charges and write-offs of property and plant equipment announced in December.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a net loss of 98.1 million francs.
Cement makers have focussed on shaving costs and selling non-core assets to make up for rising fuel prices and overcapacity in a weak European market.
($1 = 0.9302 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Caroline Copley)