Lafarge is selling its interest in the plasterboard joint venture with Boral covering Asian markets to its partner for at an enterprise value of €429m (AUD598m). The deal is expected to be completed by the year-end. The existing joint venture is forecast to sell 296Mm² of plasterboard in the 2011 calendar year, an increase of 11.7%, with the installed capacity going up by 8.5% to 448Mm². There are 20 manufacturing plants, of which five are in Thailand, four in China and three each in South Korea and Indonesia. There is one plant each in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
Lafarge Zimbabwe suffered a major breakdown in June and production this year is now likely to be constrained to 0.28Mt against earlier plans for 0.32Mt. This will still be an improvement on the 0.25Mt achieved last year. In neighbouring Zambia, however, Lafarge's cement volume rose by 32% in the first half.