UPDATE 1-Lafarge Q1 sales down on weather, poor economy

* Q1 sales 3.276 bln euro vs Reuters avg 3.325 bln

* Net profit 64 mln euro vs Reuters avg 44 mln

* Keeps 2010 outlook

PARIS, May 5 (BestGrowthStock) – France’s Lafarge (LAFP.PA: ), the
world’s largest cement maker, on Wednesday reported a 10 percent
drop in first-quarter sales as tepid economic growth and a harsh
winter in Europe and America slowed construction work.

The group kept its outlook unchanged for 2010, forecasting a
rise of up to 5 percent in global cement demand in its markets
and said it expected demand to start to recover in developed
countries in the second half of the year.

Sales for the quarter to March 31 were down to 3.276 billion
euros ($4.36 billion) while analysts polled by Reuters expected
revenue of 3.325 billion euros. [ID:nLDE6431JU]

Operating result was down 30 percent to 236 million euros,
hit by unfavourable weather conditions and the still sluggish
construction sector in recession-hit developed countries.

“Very poor weather and the lower economic activity in
developed countries and Eastern Europe negatively impacted
volumes and margins,” Lafarge said in a statement.

Lafarge made a net profit of 64 million euros against a net
loss of 17 million a year ago, helped by a one-off capital gain
of 137 million euros on the disposal of its investment interest
in Portuguese group Cimpor (CPR.LS: ).

The results come a day after Swiss rival Holcim (HOLN.VX: )
posted a narrower first-quarter net loss than expected but
warned the outlook for Europe and North America was still
uncertain after heavy snowfalls in early 2010. [ID:nLDE6420OB]

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(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Marie Maitre)

UPDATE 1-Lafarge Q1 sales down on weather, poor economy