Lafarge sales increased 6 percent in Q3 2010

| Published on November 23, 2010

Lafarge reported in its third-quarter results that company sales are up 6 percent to € 4,498 million, but its current operating income is down 2 percent to € 839 million. The net income group share also declined 8 percent to € 372 million, and the net earnings per share decline to € 1.30. (For a link to listen to the quarterly earnings report and to view the original report from Lafarge, click here.)

Lafarge Chairman and CEO Bruno Lafont notes that Lafarge’s “overall performance held up well in the quarter thanks to our balanced high quality portfolio and to the operational efforts of all our business units.”

Lafont says this occurred despite the absence of a significant recovery in developed markets.

“Moving forward, we will continue to implement our strict financial discipline and expect to benefit from solid volume growth in emerging markets,” Lafont says.

The company’s year-to-date key figures are as follows:

  • Sales stable at € 12,210 million.
  • Current operating income down 4 percent to €1,911 million.
  • Net income group share declined 1 percent to € 765 million.
  • Net earnings per share declined to € 2.67.

Group highlights, as reported by Lafarge, are as follows:

  • Sales increased 6 percent in the quarter with volume declines stabilizing and favorable foreign exchange rates.
  • Current operating income declined 2 percent in the quarter due to inflation of input costs and the impact of lower volumes, partially offset by cost cutting and favorable foreign exchange rates.
  • Cost savings of €300 million achieved year-to-date, of which €170 million are structural.
  • Middle East and Africa continued to generate strong EBITDA margins in the quarter and increased earnings over the second quarter.
  • Quarter shows first signs of market improvements in Central and Eastern Europe since mid-2008.
  • Successfully integrated new cement assets in Brazil since end of July, contributing to an increase in Latin America’s current operating income.
  • Aggregates and Concrete current operating income grew 21 percent in the third quarter.
  • Working capital improved by ten days compared to third quarter last year.
  • Strong cash and liquidity position maintained.

The Board of Directors of Lafarge, chaired by Lafont, met on Nov. 4, 2010, and approved the consolidated financial statements for the period ended Sept. 30, 2010.

Consolidated financial statements
(€m) Third quarter Year-to-date
  2009 2010 Variation 2009 2010 Variation
Sales 4,252 4,498 6%
(-2% like for like)
12,243 12,210 -
(-4% like for like)
Current operating income 852 839 -2%
(-10% like for like)
1,983 1,911 -4%
(-10% like for like)
Operating margin (%) 20.0% 18.7% -130 bps 16.2% 15.7% -50 bps
Net income Group share 404 372 -8% 774 765 -1%
Net income Group share – Excluding one-off items (1) 404 371 -8% 731 604 -17%
Net earnings per share (€) (2) €1.42 €1.30 -8% €2.99 €2.67 -11%
Net earnings per share (€) (2) – Excluding one-off items (1)(2) €1.42 €1.30 -8% €2.82 €2.11 -25%
Free cash flow (3) 836 812 -3% 1,711 1,303 -24%
Group net debt - - - 14,613 14,660 -

(1) Excluding net capital gains on sale of Cimpor investment in 2010 and adjustment of legal provision for the German cement case in Q2 2009.
(2) Basic average number of shares increased in April 2009 due to the rights issue completed by the Group.  Basic average number of shares outstanding of 285.0M and 258.9M for the third quarter and year-to-date 2009, respectively, compared to 286.1M for both the third quarter and year-to-date 2010.
(3) Free cash flow excluding the €338M one-time payment for the Gypsum competition fine paid in the third quarter 2010.

Current operating income

(€m) Third quarter Year-to-date
  2009 2010 Variation 2009 2010 Variation
Cement 746 702 -6% 1,836 1,727 -6%
Aggregates & Concrete 116 140 21% 147 163 11%
Gypsum 10 14 40% 42 48 14%
Other (20) (17) - (42) (27) -
TOTAL 852 839 -2% 1,983 1,911 -4%
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