Greek cement producer Heracles, majority-owned by France’s Lafarge, aims to focus on exports to offset an expected slowdown in the domestic market, it said on Wednesday. Consumption in Greece is estimated to decline by 5 per cent this year following the completion of Olympic Games-related projects, Greece’s largest cement producer said, adding it plans to continue cost-cutting measures started last year. It aims to modernise its plants, reduce labour costs and cut energy costs by using alternative energy sources.
On reports that National Bank (NBGr.AT) plans to sell its 26.4 percent stake in Heracles as part of a plan to trim non-core activities, a company spokesman said any decision was up to the shareholders. "This is an issue purely between National Bank and Lafarge," Kostas Asimakopoulos said. Lafarge has said it is broadly interested in buying the bank’s stake. Heracles has three cement plants in Greece, with total annual production capacity of 9.6Mt.