Lafarge Roofing expands its Asian presence

7 January 2004

Oberursel, 7 January 2004

Lafarge Roofing is continuing its business growth in South-East Asia. On 6 January 2004, a clay roof tile plant was opened in Rayong, Thailand. And only one day later, a concrete roof tile plant started operation in Bangalore, India. Since 1998 the world's leading manufacturer of roofing materials has started production at an additional 12 plants in six Asian countries. Overall, the company is active in nine countries in South-East Asia. Over 1,600 employees contributed to achieving sales totalling 106 million euros in the region in 2002.

Over the past three years, either production capacities or the product portfolio were expanded in those countries where business activities were already established, and new markets were opened in countries such as in Cambodia, Laos and South Korea. Here, as well as in Thailand and the Philippines, Lafarge Roofing formed joint ventures with the Thai Siam Cement Group. They benefit from the knowledge and experience of both partners. In Thailand in particular, the Siam Cement Group has an extensive trade network which is used for the sale of roofing materials. As the world's largest manufacturer of roofing materials, Lafarge Roofing supplies the partnership primarily with its production and marketing experience.

“South-East Asia is characterized by strongly expanding economies. Rising incomes, population growth, and the increasing popularity of building one's own home are good conditions for our roofing material business,” is how Dr. Ulrich Glaunach, CEO of Lafarge Roofing, commented developments. The accelerated internationalisation means the company is less and less dependent on a German market, which has been shrinking for years. Activities in Asia, Africa, North and South America, which were not established until over the course of the past four years, already contributed 12 % to the Ebit in 2002. During the same period, the contribution from Germany dropped from 67 % to 23 %. The share of other European countries was expanded to 65 %. Describing his growth strategy, Ulrich Glaunach says: “Today we are a truly international business with an increasingly balanced presence on four continents, giving us a firm footing from which we can take our next steps.”

Lafarge Roofing is a supplier of complete solutions in the pitched roof segment. In 2003, the company accordingly continued to pursue its strategy of offering roof systems and full solutions. Internationally, the demand for high-grade roof systems is increasing, with a large part of that increase attributable to higher demand for functional compo-nents. Lafarge Roofing seeks to provide roof craftsmen with all the products and services needed for any roofing project from a single source. The resulting benefits for the homeowner are optimised installation methods and simpler construction procedures, both of which help save time and money.

Lafarge Roofing is the roofing systems division of the Lafarge Group. With more than 200 production sites in 38 countries across 4 continents, Lafarge Roofing is the leading global supplier of pitched-roofing products, roof system components and chimney systems. In 2002, Lafarge Roofing employed more than 12,100 people, generating sales of EUR 1.5bn.

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 €14.6 billion in 2002.

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