Full year-end results for year to 31st December 2002.


Euronext: LG
NYSE: LR

02.27.2003
 
Increase in the operating income by 10%, due to the full effect of the Blue Circle consolidation and to an improvement in margins.
Slight increase of net income (+2%) before goodwill amortization & extraordinary provision. Dividend maintained at €2.30 per share.



The Board of Directors of Lafarge meeting, chaired by Bertrand Collomb, on February 26, 2003, closed the accounts for the year ending December 31, 2002.


Consolidated financial statements as of 31 December 2002
  December 31, 2002
€ Million
December 31, 2001
€ Million
Variation
Sales 14,610 13,698 +7%
Operating income on ordinary activities 2,132 1,934* +10%
Net income, Group share before goodwill amortization and extraordinary provision 914   892 +2%
Net income, Group share before extraordinary provision 756 750 +1%
Net income 456 750 -39%
Net income per share in € 3.52 5.97 -41%
Cash flow from operations 1,956 1,668 +17%
Group net debt 10,216 11,703 -13%

 

* Operating income on ordinary activities of equity affiliates is no longer included in the Group's operating income.

Sales increased by 7%, mainly due to the full consolidation effect of Blue Circle. Operating income rose by 10% (by 2% excluding foreign exchange, changes in cement plant depreciation and scope effects), which demonstrates an improvement of the operating margin.

To be prudent, a provision of €300 million has been made to cover the European Commission decision against our Gypsum activities in Europe, which Lafarge has appealed against, as well as the risk related to the current German Cartel authority investigation into the cement industry in Germany.

Net income before goodwill amortization and the extraordinary provision is slightly up (+2%). Net income per share is down 41% due to the extraordinary provision charge. Dividend is maintained at €2.30 per share.

Cash flow generation from operations increased by 17% to nearly €2 billion, investments amounted to €1.5 billion and disposals totaled €725 million, bringing the Group's net debt was down by nearly €1.5 billion.

Division highlights:

The Cement Division faced varied market conditions with a global improvement in operating income and margin and a larger contribution from emerging countries.

Synergies resulting from the acquisition of Blue Circle are on track, but much of the success has been offset by adverse markets and operations.

In the Aggregates & Concrete Division, the weak market conditions in North America, mostly in asphalt and paving activities, led to a decline in results despite the fact that operating income in Western Europe saw some increase.

The results of the Roofing Division were slightly up despite weaker markets in Germany, due to important restructuring efforts.

The results of the Gypsum Division have greatly improved mainly due to the increase in price and to the improvement of the operating performance in North America.


Current operating income as of 31 December 2002
  December 31, 2002
€ Million
December 31, 2001
€ Million
Variation Excluding foreign exchange and scope effects
Cement 1,606 1,434* +12% +3% (a)
Aggregates and Concrete 336 378* -11% -10%
Roofing 132 128* +3% +4%
Gypsum 51 3* - -
Other 7 -9* - -
TOTAL 2,132 1,934* +10% +2%

 

* Operating income on ordinary activities of equity affiliates is no longer included in the Group's operating income. (a) excluding foreign exchange, changes in cement plant depreciation and scope effects

OUTLOOK

Bertrand Collomb, Chairman and CEO of the Group said:
"In a mixed economic environment, I am pleased that the Group managed to improve its operating margin, strongly increase its cash flow generation and reduce its debt level so significantly. Blue Circle synergies for 2002 have been achieved and are on track. Whilst their benefit has been partially affected by temporary difficulties, the underlying potential of this acquisition remains unquestionable."
"In a context of economic uncertainties for 2003, we will continue to give the priority to the improvement of our operating results and the strengthening of our financial structure."

 

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 €14,610 million in 2002. More information is available on: www.lafarge.com

Contacts
Press Contacts Investor Relations
Véronique Doux
Tél : 33-1 44 34 19 47
veronique.doux@lafarge.com
James Palmer
Tél : 33-1 44 34 11 26
james.palmer@lafarge.com
  Danièle Daouphars
Tél : 33-1 44 34 11 51
daniele.daouphars@lafarge.com

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 D02-162 and updated under the reference number D02-162/A1, 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.

Practical information:
There will be a French press conference at 09.00 CET at Lafarge (61 rue des Belles Feuilles – 75016 Paris).

There will be a French language analyst presentation at 11.00 CET at Espace Charles Louis Havas (136 avenue Charles de Gaulle – 92200 Neuilly). The presentation document will be in English.
Dial in number: + 33 1 56 38 35 35
Playback number: + 33 1 40 50 20 20
(pin code 7987 #), available during the 5 following days
This presentation (including the slides) will also be available through a webcast facility on Lafarge website (www.lafarge.com)

There will be an English analyst presentation at 17.00 GMT at City Presentation Centre, 4 Chiswell Street, EC1 London.
Dial in number from UK: 0 800 279 22 80 (+ 44 208 515 23 06 if you dial in from outside UK)
Dial in number from US: 1 800 366 39 08 (+ 1 303 205 00 66 if you dial in from outside UK)
UK playback number: + 44 208 797 2499 (pin code 871445 #)
US playback number: + 1 800 405 22 36 (pin code 525500 #)
(Playback facility available from 27th of February 19.30 CET to 4th of March 18.00 CET)

 
  • The presentation slides (full version) (pdf, 1.07 MB)
  • The presentation slide (short version) (ppt, 266 KB)
  • The press release (pdf, 198.39 KB)
  • The consolidated accounts as at December 31, 2002 (pdf, 180.5 KB)
  • The management report as at Dec. 31, 2002 (pdf, 1.57 MB)
  • <span lang="de">Zur deutschen Pressenachricht</span> (pdf, 198.39 KB)