Cement maker Lafarge reports 10% quarterly profit drop

4th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's Lafarge, the world's biggest cement maker, said on Friday its third-quarter net profit was down 10 percent to 336 million euros ($465 million) but sales were up one percent to 4.2 billion euros.

Lafarge said in a statement that its year-to-date net profit was down 22 percent to 596 million euros at the end of the third quarter, while sales were up two percent to 11.47 billion euros.

"In the current economic environment, the group continues to be proactive and already secured over two billion euros of divestments as part of its actions to reduce debt," CEO Bruno Lafont said in the statement.

"These efforts will continue and today the group is announcing a new 500 million euro cost reduction program. These measures, including price actions in response to a high cost environment, are part of ongoing steps to strengthen profitability, reduce debt and maintain strong liquidity."

Lafarge said it continues to see cement demand growing and maintains its estimate of market growth of between two and five percent in 2011.

Lafarge stocks rallied after the results were released, rising 6.61 percent on Paris's benchmark CAC 40 index to 31.37 euros, the index's largest increase.

© 2011 AFP

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