- Favorable start for the business in most countries in 2002
- Achievement of synergies with Blue Circle confirmed for 2002
- Net dividend rises 4.5%
The general meeting of Lafarge shareholders, which was held in Paris-La Défense on May 28, 2002, approved the 2001 financial statements.
At the meeting, Bertrand Collomb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge, said that "business across all the Group's divisions and in most countries started the year well. The German market has remained weak. The strong rebound of Gypsum activity in the United States continued in the first months of 2002, due to improving prices and steady progress in manufacturing performance."
He added that the synergies with Blue Circle for 2002 will be achieved as planned: "We can confirm today that the operational synergies we expected from the integration of Blue Circle in 2002 will be achieved." Synergies in 2002 represent a total of €107 million. The overall objective is to realize €215 million of operational synergies per year by 2004, as announced last October 25.
The general shareholders meeting voted the distribution of a dividend per share of €2.30. Shareholders will have from June 3 to June 21, 2002 included to opt to reinvest dividends in shares at a preferred purchase price of €95.30.
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, and employs 83,000 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 €13.7 billion in 2001.
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 COB number R01-049 and 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.