Sales build for French construction giant Lafarge

21st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - French cement and construction materials giant Lafarge reported on Thursday that sales in the first nine months had risen by 5.7 percent and stood by a forecast that full-year operating profits would rise by 10 percent.

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - French cement and construction materials giant Lafarge reported on Thursday that sales in the first nine months had risen by 5.7 percent and stood by a forecast that full-year operating profits would rise by 10 percent.

The construction materials sector is widely seen as a leading indicator of underlying trends in the economy.

Lafarge said that it felt comfortable about this profits outlook despite high energy costs and the fact that activity in the second half of last year had been strong.

Sales in the first nine months rose by 5.7 percent to EUR 10.87 billion (USD 13.58 billion) from EUR 10.28 billion in the same period of last year.

The company expected so-called "current operating profits" for the full year to rise by 10 percent from the 2003 figure, excluding the effects of exchange rates and on an assumption that there would be no extreme weather conditions to hamper outdoor activity.

This view took account of continuing high energy costs and a high level of activity in the second half of last year.

On a basis of constant exchange rates, sales rose by 8.5 percent. The effects of exchange rate changes had cut 3.7 percent or EUR 344 million from the value of sales in the first nine months.

Sales of cement had risen by 7.0 percent to EUR 5.17 billion owing to an increase of the volume of business and increased prices. Strong activity in France was compensating for a fall of activity in Greece arising from the end of construction work for the Olympic Games.

Prices for cement in North America remained firm.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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