Lafarge Roofing: Strengthening the Position in Malaysia

23 September 2002

Lafarge Roofing is today inaugurating the eighth plant for concrete roof tiles in Malaysia. This modern, fully-automated plant in Dengkil sets new standards in concrete roof tile production in Malaysia. It is the largest and most modern plant in the country. With an investment of 25mn Ringgit (around 6.5mn Euros), Lafarge Roofing is increasing its capacity here by more than 20%. Malaysia is a country with a prospering construction industry. Public and private building activity is on a high level in what is in general a good economic environment. Lafarge Roofing plans to open another plant in Malaysia in 2003.

"Demographic trends in the country together with well-directed government programmes to support private building guarantee a high demand for roofing materials", is how Dr. Ulrich Glaunach, CEO of Lafarge Roofing, gave reasons for expanding the plant network. "Initiatives one would like to see in Germany too."

Low interest rates and bank loans secured by state guarantees promote house building. Public spending goes in particular on the erection of new schools, hospitals and on developing poorer regions through low-priced housing.

"Concrete tiles are mainly used for Malaysia's aesthetic and versatile roofs, providing a effective and lively style of architecture", Glaunach continues. The demand for them covers a wide range of shapes and colours in all price segments. Around half of the total market for pitched-roofing products of over 43 million square metres falls to concrete tiles. Lafarge Roofing Malaysia has more than 50 years of experience on the Malaysian market and is by far the leading company. In this Asian country, the company employs a staff of 750. Due to the high demand, the plants work to capacity limit, which is at present 19 million square metres. The network of plants stretches along the economic regions in the West of Malaysia, with a concentration in the region around Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has a very young population, one which is growing at a rate of around 2% per year. The changed, modern lifestyle encourages the desire to have one's own house or flat. Economic growth rates of over eight percent (2001) bring increased prosperity, allowing wider and wider sections of the population to realise this dream. In this environment, the Malaysian construction industry is used as a lever to stimulate the whole economy.

Lafarge Roofing is the Roofing Systems Division of the Lafarge Group. With more than 200 production sites in 38 countries on four continents, Lafarge Roofing is the leading global supplier of pitched-roofing products, roof system components and chimney systems. More than 12,600 employees generated sales of 1.6bn Euros in 2001.

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