Euronext: LG, NYSE: LR
Lafarge announces today that it will invest approximately €45 million in a new plasterboard plant in the Midlands, which will increase its capacity by 50% in the UK with an additional 25 million square metres. The launch of the construction will start in 2005. Once completed this new plant will create employment for more than 60 persons.
The plasterboard market in the UK has been growing rapidly since 2001. This new plant will use state of the art manufacturing standards to offer a range of quality plasterboard products to serve the increasing demand from its customers across the country.
Key to making this investment was the Group's recent agreement to secure a source of synthetic gypsum from EDF Energy's coal-fired power station at Cottam, near Retford in Nottinghamshire.
Nearly half the gypsum used by Lafarge worldwide is synthetic. Processing synthetic gypsum follows Lafarge's actions in the field of sustainable development by preserving natural resources. Plasterboard is an environmentally friendly product.
Note to Editors:
Lafarge Plasterboard, the unit of Lafarge Gypsum in the UK, is the second largest supplier of plasterboard systems in the UK and its existing facility is in Bristol.
Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, holds top-ranking positions in all four of its Divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. Lafarge employs 77,000 people in 75 countries. In 2004, the Group posted sales of €14.4 billion.
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Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Factors"), which are difficult to predict. Some of the Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the cyclical nature of the Company's business; national and regional economic conditions in the countries in which the Group does business; currency fluctuations; seasonal nature of the Company's operations; levels of construction spending in major markets; supply/demand structure of the industry; competition from new or existing competitors; unfavorable weather conditions during peak construction periods; changes in and implementation of environmental and other governmental regulations; our ability to successfully identify, complete and efficiently integrate acquisitions; our ability to successfully penetrate new markets; and other Factors disclosed in the Company's public filings with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers and the US Securities and Exchange Commission including its Reference Document and annual report on Form 20-F. In general, the Company is subject to the risks and uncertainties of the construction industry and of doing business throughout the world. The forward-looking statements are made as of this date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.