Didier Riou, aged 49, qualified as an engineer at the ESTP engineering school and also holds a Masters degree in economics from the University of Paris and an MBA from INSEAD. Between 1980 and 1986, he held several posts in strategy and marketing in the Lambert group, prior to becoming number two in its French Roofing business. He then joined Casco Nobel as CEO of the Building Adhesives Division France. He entered Lafarge in 1991, and was successively CEO of SAR (the Group's road markings subsidiary), then CEO of the Asia and Americas regions and Senior Executive Vice President of Lafarge's Roofing Division. Since 2000, he has been one of the COOs of the Group's Roofing Division.
Jean-Christophe Barbant, 40, is a former student of the École Polytechnique (1982) and also graduated from the ENSM engineering school in Paris. He began his career at the French Ministry of Industry in 1988, then moved to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in 1993. He joined Lafarge Plâtres in 1995 as a Vice President with responsibility for purchasing and strategy, and then became Senior Vice President, Northern and Central Europe in 1997. In 2000, he was appointed Vice President, Corporate e-business, with responsibility for the "Place des Métiers" project, a customer service offer based on new technologies. He is now appointed one of the COOs of the Group's Roofing Division.
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, and employs 77,000 people in 75 countries. The Group holds top-ranking positions in all four of its Divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. Lafarge posted sales of €14.6 billion in 2002.
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; seasonality 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 Reference Document filed with the French COB under the reference number D.03-0375, and its annual report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the USA. 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.