Lafarge aims for over five per cent underlying sales rise

Lafarge aims for over five per cent underlying sales rise
Published: 25 May 2006

Lafarge is aiming for underlying sales growth of over five per cent per year but it gave no period for the forecast in slides posted on its website ahead of an annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday. 
 
The world’s biggest cement maker also said in the slides that it planned to generate EUR1bn ($1.28bn) in sales from new products by 2008 and targets an annual rise of 8 percent on average in its earnings per share. 

Meanwhile, chief executive Bruno Lafont, declined to rule out an eventual sale of the company’s roofing materials business. ’There is no asset that must stay in the group if it does not create value,’ he said, noting that these operations have suffered from difficult market conditions in Germany. Operating profit from roofing materials fell 34 per cent last year.

Separately, chairman Bertrand Collomb declined to comment about a rumour that Lafarge had been approached by Saint-Gobain about a tie-up, other than to note that Saint-Gobain had denied it.

In additional news, Lafarge said it will construct in plant in Ukraine for production of gypsum board and dry concrete mix. With the plant in place, the company aims to win 25% of Ukraine’s market for gypsum-based dry concrete mix and gypsum cardboard. The plant will be built out of the current LAGARGE GYPSUM plant in Donetsk, formerly STROMGIPS, at a cost of EUR 30m. The plant is to be started in the summer of 2007.