Greek cement producer Heracles Cement, majority-owned by France’s Lafarge posted an 8.2 per cent drop in 2004 group pretax profit to 107.4 million euros, hit by slowing volume as Olympics-related projects tailed off. Operating income before interest and tax fell by 9.3 per cent to 115.7 million euros ($153.4 million). Sales dropped 2.4 per cent to 592.5 million euros. "The decrease in sales is mainly due to the slowdown in volumes, as expected following the completion of Olympics-related building projects, together with the regulated restrictions in construction projects in the Attica area in August 2004," the company said.
Heracles, which operates three cement plants in Greece with a total annual production capacity of 9.6Mt, said it would propose an unchanged dividend of 0.40 euro per share to shareholders.