Lafarge is expected to sell its business with roof-tiles, which would mean the withdrawal of the group from large parts of its German operations. The company says that it is still at an early stage in the plans; nevertheless, Austrian rival Wienerberger has already expressed interest. The division has a turnover of around Euro 1.5bn and employs 11,500 staff. Lafarge is the market leader in this sector in Germany, with subsidiaries such as Schiedel and Braas. Turnover on the German market totals more than Euro 320m. The company employs 2900 people in this area of business in Germany.
Lafarge has complained that the long period of sluggishness in the German construction sector has had a negative impact on its results for years: in 2005, the operating profit in the division fell by a third to Euro 98m. The roof-tile division is thus hindering the group’s ambitious plans to improve profits.