Lafarge is planning to add capacity at both its Nigerian cement-manufacturing subsidiaries. An additional 2.2m tonnes of annual cement capacity will be constructed by Lafarge Cement WAPCO, which is 60.0% owned by Lafarge, and a further 0.35m at the 50.2%-owned Ashakacem.

Lafarge Cement Zambia, which doubled its pre-tax profit last year thanks to higher volumes and improved efficiencies, hopes to see further improvement this year, from the second quarter onwards, as the rainy season ends.

The 34.9%-owned, but proportionately consolidated Lafarge Maroc saw cement sales decline by 2% in the first quarter of the year because of heavy rain and flooding, but the company remains optimistic for the full year and expects a modest volume growth. The company is currently undertaking a feasibility study with the view of establishing a cement works in the southern Sousse region. To date, Lafarge Maroc's activities have been concentrated in the north of the country.