Blue Circle defence document makes promises but says nothing new.
The preliminary statement of 1999 results illustrates the accuracy of Lafarge's assessment of current performance:
- earnings per share before exceptional items significantly lower than in 1998 or 1997
- almost 90 per cent of heavy building materials operating profit comes from just three mature economies
- developing country profitability fallen to only £28.5 million despite capital employed totalling £1.2 billion, giving return on year end capital employed on all developing country assets of just 2.4 per cent.
Lafarge's offer of 420 pence in cash represents a multiple of 16.9 times Blue Circle's 1999 earnings per share before exceptional items and 24.8 times basic earnings per share.
Bertrand Collomb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge commented:
"Blue Circle's shareholders have seen no share price growth in the last 4 years. The insubstantial nature of Blue Circle's claim for the future in today's document only confirms the attractiveness of our offer with the certainty of 420 pence in cash, available now".
Lafarge: 00 33 1 44 34 1111
Desdner Kleinworth Benson 00 44 207 623 8000
BNP Parisbas 00 33 1 42 98 12 34
Ludovic de Montille