Lafarge North America, which parent company Lafarge SA plans to fully acquire in the coming weeks, said late yesterday its operating loss narrowed to US$55.8m in the first quarter, from the US$78.6m loss seen in the same period last year.
Sales rose to US$781.3m from US$577m, and the net loss improved to US$65.6m against a loss of US$188.5m the year before.
’We are off to a very good start, benefiting from favourable weather and excellent pricing across all our product lines,’ said the unit’s chief executive Philippe Rollier.
Over the year, the unit expects ’significant’ earnings growth, as further price increases for cement, aggregates and gypsum offset the anticipated negative impact from rising energy costs.
Lafarge North America’s board has recommended that investors accept Lafarge’s US$85.5 per share takeover offer, which was raised several times amid claims that the offer undervalued the company.