Lafarge's turnover declined by 16.5% to €15,884m in 2009 and the EBITDA fell by 22.0% to €3,600m, with the pre-tax profit dropping by 46.0% to €1,306m and the net attributable profit by 53.9% to €736m. Thanks to the €1.5bn rights issue and €919m of asset disposals, the net debt at the end of December declined by 18.3% to €13,795m, to give a more sustainable gearing level of 82.1%, compared with 115.4% a year earlier. Capital expenditure was reduced by 39.8% to €1,606m and spending on acquisitions amounted to just €113m.
Cement deliveries in 2009 declined by 8.7% to 141.2m tonnes, with group cement capacity standing at 204m tonnes at the end of the year. Sales of aggregates were down by 20.9% at 196.0m tonnes, while the ready-mixed concrete volumes declined by 15.1% to 37.1m m³. Finally, plasterboard deliveries fell by 10.5% to 667m m².
Lafarge will receive Brazilian cement assets in exchange for the sale to Votorantim of its 17.28% stake in the Portuguese Cimpor group on February 3, 2010. As a result, Lafarge will become one of the top three cement producers in Brazil with 7Mta capacity. The acquisition should increase Lafarge's EBITDA in Brazil by €85m as of 2011, and by more than €100m in 2012, the company said in a statement.