Lafarge has announced its sales and operating results for the first quarter of 2012. Overall sales volumes increased by 5% to €3353 million, aided by higher prices across the Group’s product lines. However, sales of ready-mixed concrete and aggregates fell by 3% and 6%, respectively, compared to 1Q11. The company has attributed the drop in sales volumes to the impact of extreme winter weather on the construction industry in Western and Eastern Europe. Cement sales reached 31.3 million t, 1% higher than the same period last year. Improved sales volumes were reported in the Middle Eastern, African, Asian and Latin American markets.
Operating income rose 28% to €267 million, whilst €70 million worth of cost savings were achieved. EMBITDA increased by 8%, due to growth in North America, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The UK Competition Commission has published its findings into Lafarge UK’s proposed joint venture with Anglo American subsidiary, Tarmac. The Commission has approved the venture as long as the companies sell a significant portion of their UK operations.
Bruno Lafont, Lafarge’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “While the first quarter results traditionally represent a small quarter and we remain cautious for the year, the Group was encouraged by the higher revenues and EBITDA growth. We successfully launched our new cost reduction programme and it is positive that price actions are taking hold to address cost inflation. The Group is focused on debt reduction, strict cost discipline, the maximisation of its cash flows and the achievement of at least €1 billion of strategic divestments this year. The management reorganisation accelerates the Group's actions towards efficiency and organic growth.”
Lafarge expects demand to improve, driven by the emerging markets. It has predicted that 2012 will see 1 – 4% growth compared to 2011.
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/04052012/cement_lafarge_profits_sales_results/