Annual sales posted by Lafarge in 1999 stood at €10,528 million (FRF 69.1 billion), as against €9,801 million (FRF 64.3 billion) in 1998, an increase of 7.4%.
Exchange rate variations had negligible impact (- 0.1%).
The increase therefore chiefly results from:
- Structural changes with positive impact of 5%
New entries to the consolidation were responsible for contributing additional sales of €701 million (FRF 4.6 billion). This principally concerns Jordan Cement Factory (Jordan), Lafarge South Africa, Seacem and Continental (the Philippines), Basalt Feuerfest (Germany), gypsum operations in South Korea, and Corn Construction (United States).
Removals from the consolidation primarily related to the disposal of aggregates quarries in France and the United Kingdom, the sale of the flat roofing business in Germany and a change of accounting method for the lime business in North America. Sales removed from the consolidation total €198 million (FRF 1.3 billion).
- A positive variation in business of 2.5%.
A good level of business in the closing months of the year (variation in business for the 4th quarter up 4.1% by comparison with the same period in 1998) brought the increase seen over the year as a whole to 2.5%. The variations broken down by Division (the year as a whole followed by the fourth quarter in brackets) were as follows: Cement: up 3.0% (up 4.1%); Aggregates & Concrete: up 1.7% (up 2.7%); Roofing: up 2.7% (up 8.1%); Gypsum: up 9.0% (up 14.3%); Specialty Products: down 0.9% (down 3.3%).
Characteristics of 1999 included:
- Marked growth in business in Western Europe (52% of the Group's consolidated volumes), with particularly favorable trends in France and Spain.
- Continuing growth in North America (26% of consolidated Group volumes). All businesses showed progress with the exception of aggregates, where volumes suffered from unfavorable weather conditions.
- Contrasting situations in the rest of the world (22% of consolidated Group volumes). Particularly striking were very strong increases in business in Poland and Honduras.
On the other hand, volumes fell both in Turkey, where the effects of August's earthquake have seriously disrupted the local economy, and in Romania.
Business in Brazil, meanwhile, enjoyed a significant recovery in the 4th quarter, benefiting from substantial price increases.
|At 31/12/99||At 31/12/98|
|€ millions||FRF millions||€ millions||FRF millions|
|Aggregates & Concrete||3,202||21 002||3 117||20,447|