Lafarge reports 34% first-half profit drop
France's Lafarge, the world's biggest cement maker, said Thursday its first half earnings fell and that it scaled back its 2011 forecasts amid inflation fears and an unfavourable exchange rate.
Lafarge said its six months to June net profit was down 34 percent to 260 million euros (371.8 million dollars), though it cautioned that profit reported a year ago included an exceptional gain of 160 million euros.
In the first six months of this year, sales grew three percent to 7.97 billion euros, riding on a rise in cement prices.
Operating profit dropped 14 percent to 926 million euros because of high energy prices and a strong euro, Lafarge said.
Lafarge said it was on the right track to shed its target of two billion euros in debt by the end of 2011, in part by selling off plaster firms in Europe and South America.
© 2011 AFP