Lafarge has decided to press ahead with an expansion plans in Morocco after sales began to pick up in the second half of 2009, the company said on Wednesday.
Lafarge Ciments, a listed subsidiary of Lafarge and its Moroccan partner SNI, reported a 10 per cent gain in 2009 net income to MOD1.86bn. Operating profit climbed 19 per cent to MOD2.73bn.
Lafarge Ciments and its rivals Holcim Maroc and Ciments du Maroc grappled with a stagnant market last year after years of growth fed by infrastructure upgrades, low-income housing projects and a tourism boom.
The company said sales had begun to pick up again in the second half of 2009 due to continued demand for housing and infrastructure, which offered the prospect of further market growth.
"Nonetheless, the launch of new cement plants from the first half of 2010 is likely to provoke over-capacity, especially in the greater Casablanca area," Lafarge said in a statement carried in newspapers.
It said the management board had decided to press ahead with new investments after the successful launch of a second production line in the northern city of Tetouan.
Construction of a new cement plant in the southern Souss region would begin as soon as possible, it added.