Annual sales for the LAFARGE Group in 1998 totaled 64.3 billion French francs (9, 801 million euros), representing a gross increase of 53% by comparison with 1997 (a rise of 8% excluding Redland).
The gross rise of 53% is accounted for as follows:
- structural changes with impact of 54.5% (FRF21.6 billion / 3,297million euros), chiefly arising from the incorporation into the consolidation on January 1, 1998 of Redland.
Sales posted by former Redland units over the whole year stand at FRF19.0 billion (2.9billion euros), an increase of 3% over 1997 (of 1% on the same reporting basis).
Other new entries to the consolidation (FRF2.6 billion / 398million euros) chiefly concern Romcim in Romania (cement), Incehsa in Honduras (cement), Lafarge South Africa (cement, concrete and aggregates) and North American road markings companies (Centerline and Linear Dynamics Inc.).
- negative impact of exchange rate variations of 1.7%, in particular because of the depreciation of the Canadian dollar.
- an increase in business of 3.6%.
Significant highlights of 1998 included:
· a slight increase in business in Western Europe, chiefly thanks to an excellent year in Spain and in spite of a low level of business in Germany,
· a very good level of business in North America,
· an upturn in Latin America, in spite of a discernable slowdown in the 4th quarter,
· lower levels of business in Asia and the Indian Ocean,
· generally favorable price trends.