Lafarge is pursuing growth in emerging markets in an attempt to counteract the downturn in the construction sector, the Financial Times reports.
The group’s chairman and chief executive Bruno Lafont said the business in emerging markets like India, Africa and China was still providing an annual growth of 3-15%. This is in contrast to the slump in western markets, where Lafarge’s business is down 10-20%.
The group now wants to take advantage of the growth in housebuilding, infrastructure and industry in developing economies.
It plans to generate 65% of its operating profits from emerging markets this year, compared with 55% for the previous one and 45% for 2007. The target will be met through the consolidation of Middle Eastern cement producer Orascom Cement, which Lafarge bought in 2007.