Lafarge CEO sees further cement recovery, improved margins vs energy costs

Lafarge CEO sees further cement recovery, improved margins vs energy costs
Published: 22 September 2005

Lafarge CEO Bernard Kasriel predicted the modest recovery in cement and granulate volumes seen in the second quarter will persist through the second half, and indicated that margins vis-a-vis energy costs are growing.

In an interview in Saturday’s Le Journal des Finances, he reiterated recent guidance that the rise in full year 2005 operating profit will be near the low end of the targeted 6-8 per cent range.

Kasriel said Lafarge has offset rising fuel and electricity costs by increasing prices and substituting more non-oil combustibles in making cement.

’The high energy costs represent good news for Lafarge because they let us make the most of our competitive advantage,’ he said, adding that full year price rises for its customers ’will be greater than the increases in our (energy) costs.’