Lafarge aims to increase cement capacity by 40Mt by 2010

Lafarge aims to increase cement capacity by 40Mt by 2010
26 February 2007

Excluding the roofing business, which is being sold, Lafarge increased its turnover last year by 16.7% to EUR16,909m and the EBITDA improved by 19.7% to EUR3,704m.   The running profit at the trading level rose by 23.4% to EUR2,772m and the pre-tax profit advanced by 23.7% to EUR2,223m. A more normal tax charge reduced the growth rate in net profit to 11.6%, though lower minorities offset this with the net attributable profit improving by 25.2% to EUR1,372m.  Group cement shipments rose by 7.0% in 2006 to 131.8Mt, while aggregates deliveries improved by 9.2% to 261.9Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries by 11.3% to 43.4m m³.  Net debt at the end of last year stood at EUR9845m, which represents an increase of 36.3%, largely reflecting the buying out of the North American minorities.  That represented a gearing level of 83.5%.    
European cement operations generated a turnover 15.6% higher at €3,601m with the EBITDA rising by 16.8% to €1,159m.  Cement deliveries rose by 9.3% to 47.1Mt.  In France, cement volumes rose by six per cent and turnover increased by 10.6 per cent.  Capacity has been boosted by the commissioning of a grinding centre for slag in Bordeaux and a second is planned for Sète, on the Mediterranean coast, to satisfy the increased demand for blended cement.  British volumes grew by a more modest 2.2%, but strong pricing boosted turnover by 8.6%.  In Spain, shipments rose by 3.4% and turnover by 12.3%.  The Greek advance was mainly volume driven, with 15.8% increase in shipments accounting for most of the 18.7% rise in turnover. German prices showed a good recovery of some 10%, with volumes 2.5% higher.  Romania and Poland showed the strongest volume growth at 30.3% and 28.2% respectively, though Polish prices were marginally lower. Russian prices rose strongly and turnover advanced by 31.5% on volumes that were only 3.9% ahead, while Serbia increased both volumes and prices by just over 10%.  Western European concrete and aggregates trading profit rose by 26.8% to
EUR227m on the back of a 7.5% rise in aggregates shipments to 86.1Mt that boosted turnover by 12.9% to EUR1,058m and ready-mixed concrete sales 25.7% higher at EUR1,542m, with volumes ahead by 23.7% to 19.3Mm³, helped by acquisitions. 
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