Lafarge has reported a first quarter sales increase of 7.1% to EUR2,88m as at March 31, 2004 compared to weak first quarter 2003 sales of EUR2,691m.
“We are pleased with this good start to the year, with increases in sales across all divisions. This level of activity is consistent with our expectation of robust growth in our operating income on ordinary activities for 2004, excluding currency fluctuations” said Bernard Kasriel, Chief Executive Officer of the Group.
In Western Europe, France and Greece led the way with strong growth in domestic sales. Spain and Germany rose slightly with price rises offsetting some volume decline. The UK encountered somewhat difficult market conditions with moderate price pressure.
Sales in North America grew strongly compared to a very poor first quarter 2003. Favourable weather and strong demand in all regions generated high volume growth. Prices were slightly below those of the first quarter 2003.
Strong sales growth was recorded in the majority of other countries. Of particular note were Poland, Romania, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Venezuela, Nigeria, South Africa, the Philippines and India. Poor weather impacted Brazilian volumes.