Lafarge 1H net profit down

Lafarge 1H net profit down
Published: 08 September 2005

Lafarge said its first-half net profit fell by 18% to EUR359m on difficult market conditions in Brazil, Malaysia, Germany and South Korea. 

The company said current operating income declined by 7% to EUR837m compared to EUR903m a year ago, and by 9.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis against what it said had been "a very strong half" in 2004.

Lafarge said a sharp decline of the German market had hurt its roofing business as operating profit of German operations fell by EUR31m. 

Severe cement price competition in Brazil, Malaysia and South Korea translated into a EUR58m negative impact on operating profit, the company added. 

Lafarge also said price increases in cement markets in other countries helped offset energy and transportation costs. 

Chief Executive Officer Bernard Kasriel said he expected a "strong second half" this year, with favorable overall volume trends. 

However, the company remains concerned with the continued deterioration of the German construction market, he added.