Jean Desazars has been appointed Executive Vice President responsible for Strategy and Business Development and will report to the Chief Executive Officer of the Group.
Jean Desazars will be responsible for permanent reviews of the Group's strategy as a whole, its business portfolio and its main axes for growth, in the light of general market trends and the major global challenges facing the business sectors in which Lafarge operates.
Jean Desazars will also head up the Group's M&A teams and be responsible for formalising merger and acquisition procedures, as well as conducting certain negotiations himself.
Jean Desazars began his career as a diplomat, specialising in multilateral arms control negotiations. He joined Lafarge in 1989 and has played a key role in the Group's expansion in Asia, including the recent joint venture with Shui On, which resulted in the creation of the largest cement manufacturer in South West China, and one of the three top players in all of China.
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 and posted sales of €14.4 billion in 2004.
For release worldwide with simultaneous release in the United States.
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.