Lafarge Roofing launched new clay roof tile brand in Thailand - Inauguration of a plant in Rayong

7 January 2004

Bangkok / Oberursel (Germany), 6 January 2004

Lafarge Roofing, the world's leading producer of roof tiles and roofing systems, today officially opened its new Thai subsidiary, Lafarge Siam Roofing. Located near Rayong, the new facility has started to produce clay roof tiles after less than one year of renewal work.

Lafarge Siam Roofing is a joint venture of Lafarge Roofing and Cementhai Building Products whose creation they announced in January 2003. Lafarge Roofing, the Roofing Division of Lafarge, holds a 75% stake of this joint venture. The new company acquired the previously mothballed facility for producing clay roof tiles and had it renovated.

The joint venture has invested more than 8 million euros in the acquisition and modernization of the plant. Now it produces high-quality clay roof tiles, which are branded as Ceris products. This brand closes the gap in the product range between the concrete roof tiles of CPAC Monier and the Excella clay roof tiles of TCT. Both companies are also joint ventures of Lafarge Roofing and The Siam Cement Group. Ceris products will also benefit from the large distribution network of The Siam Cement Group, which is recognized for its excellence and nation-wide coverage.

The new brand gives architects new options. “Studying the Thai roof market we recognized that there is substantial demand for good quality clay roof tiles with natural colours giving a Mediterranean or Californian style to the housing projects,” states Dr. Ulrich Glaunach, CEO of Lafarge Roofing. Taking its inspiration from the nature, Ceris clay tiles offer value and differentiation to all residential housing projects. This is why the company has launched its business with a Roman clay roof tile profile available in five natural colours. The Thai subsidiary will start in the B2B segment, targeting developers of exclusive residential building projects knowing that the new style will appeal to the home owners.

“We expect the Thai roofing market to develop rapidly. As a new force we want to convince the market with an innovative offer,” comments Ulrich Glaunach further. With Lafarge Roofing support, the customers will benefit especially from a high quality standard of natural clay tiles.

Lafarge Siam Roofing's first target is to gain a significant market share in the high end segment of the residential housing sector in the Metropolitan area but also in the country side. The plant also will be the export base for the entire South-East Asian region. In 2004 the company plans to start exporting to South-Korea. The plant is expected to be operating at full capacity within four years. Its nominal production capacity is 12 million tiles per year. Such capacity will respond to the market needs and can be expanded if needed.
Due to the strongly growing economy, rising consumer incomes and population growth, Lafarge Roofing expects the market to remain buoyant. Estimates suggest that, today, the potential demand for roof tiles in Thailand amounts to more than 20 million sqm in 2004.

“Thanks to The Siam Cement Group, to our suppliers from Thailand and Europe, to our highly motivated team in Thailand, and to the local authorities we were able to complete this project successfully in very short time,” stated Dr. Ulrich Glaunach, CEO of Lafarge Roofing, during the opening ceremony.

The new business unit with its state of the art facility employs 78 people and gives work to additional 60 to 100 contractors.

“We will ensure that our employees have good reason to be proud of working for Lafarge Siam Roofing. They will be producing and marketing clay roof tiles at the high quality standard which the market is used to be supplied with by CPAC Monier and TCT.”

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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