Lafarge North America Inc missed earnings expectations, blaming bad weather and economic weakness in some of its markets. In a press release, the construction supply company posted second-quarter net income of US$73.9m, or $1 a share, compared to year-ago net income of US$107m, or $1.44 a share. The recent quarter included charges of 15 cents a share. The year-ago period included a divestments gain of 28 cents a share.
Second-quarter net sales were nearly flat at US$861.7m compared with US$868.3m last year. Excluding currency translations, consolidated sales declined four per cent from last year and US net sales fell eight per cent from a year ago.
The construction materials segment posted an operating profit of US$52m compared with US$70.9m, a year ago. Cement products segment, excluding the discontinued Lafarge Florida Inc, was up nine per cent to US$104.4m from US$95.7m in 2002. Net sales were US$326m, an increase of one per cent, but down one per cent when excluding currency translations.
The segment expects a pretax gain of US$90m on the sale of Lafarge Florida Inc. by the end of the third quarter. Also in store for the third quarter is an expected US$30m pretax gain on the relocation of a cement terminal in Detroit. Lafarge said it is encouraged by a pickup in shipments during the past two months, and predicted results for the second-half of the year will be ahead of last year.