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Lafarge announces 3Q results

World Cement,

3Q key figures:

  • Sales up 6% to € 4 498 million.
  • Current operating income down 2% to € 839 million.
  • Net income Group share declined 8% to € 372 million.
  • Net earnings per share declined to € 1.30.

Year-to-date key figures

  • Sales stable at € 12 210 million.
  • Current operating income down 4% to €1911 million.
  • Net income Group share declined 1% to € 765 million.
  • Net earnings per share declined to € 2.67.

Group highlights

  • Sales increased 6% in the quarter with volume declines stabilising and favourable foreign exchange rates.
  • Current operating income declined 2% in the quarter due to inflation of input costs and the impact of lower volumes, partially offset by cost cutting and favourable foreign exchange rates.
  • Cost savings of € 300 million achieved year-to-date, of which € 170 million are structural.
  • Middle East and Africa continued to generate strong EBITDA margins in the quarter and increased earnings over the second quarter.
  • Quarter shows first signs of market improvements in Central and Eastern Europe since mid-2008.
  • Successfully integrated new cement assets in Brazil since end of July, contributing to an increase in Latin America's current operating income.
  • Aggregates and concrete current operating income grew 21% in 3Q.
  • Working capital improved by ten days compared to third quarter last year.
  • Strong cash and liquidity position maintained.

Bruno Lafont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge, commented, "Lafarge's overall performance held up well in the quarter thanks to our balanced high quality portfolio and to the operational efforts of all our business units. This occurred despite the absence of a significant recovery in developed markets. Moving forward, we will continue to implement our strict financial discipline and expect to benefit from solid volume growth in emerging markets."

Cement highlights were as follows.

  • Sales were up 5% in the quarter and down 1% year-to-date, reflecting the impact of lower volumes being offset by the stronger benefit of foreign exchange.
  • Volume declines were -5% in the quarter and -6% year-to-date, with volume growth in North America and Latin America helping to partially offset declines in other regions.
  • Pricing remained solid overall.
  • Cost reduction programme strongly benefited all regions.
  • Current operating income down 6% in the quarter and year-to-date due to lower overall volumes and higher energy costs.


Based on demand trends seen through 3Q, the Group has maintained its overall growth estimates in its markets and expects cement market demand to be between -1 to +3% in 2010 as compared to 2009.  Due to supply-demand evolution, volume trends for the Group may vary from local market trends in some countries.

Pricing is expected to remain solid through the year, despite lower prices in some markets.

While the Group remains prudent on mature market trends as 2011 approaches, we expect to see solid growth in the emerging markets. As seen in recent years, these markets will continue to drive cement demand as urbanisation, demographics and infrastructure needs result in higher rates of construction.  

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