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Lafarge Profits Up 17% in Second Quarter


French cement company Lafarge on Thursday reported a 17% rise in second-quarter net profit and said it is confident for the second half of the year.

Lafarge's net profit increased to 572 million euros ($781.52 million) in the three months to June from 490 million euros ($669.49 million) a year earlier.

Sales grew 2% to 4.69 billion euros ($6.41 billion) from 4.58 billion euros ($6.26 billion) a year earlier.

Lafarge said it boosted profits through cost reductions and gains made from the disposals of its roofing business and activities in Anatolia, in Turkey.

"We are confident for the second half of the year," Chief Executive Bruno Lafont said in a statement accompanying the results.

The cement division posted a 5% increase in sales to 2.78 billion euros ($3.8 billion) in the quarter. Revenues at the aggregate and concrete division and the gypsum division were stable at 1.72 billion euros ($2.35 billion) and 826 million euros ($1128.56 million) respectively.

Lafarge also said it intends to delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange, following the merger of the NYSE with the pan-European stock exchange operator Euronext.

In a statement, Lafarge said trading volume of its American Depositary Receipts -- the term for shares of a foreign company trading on U.S. financial markets -- has remained very low since 2002, accounting for around 1% of the total shares traded.

Lafarge shares are listed on Euronext where 99% of trading takes place.

Lafarge's shares have risen over 9% this year on strong corporate results and amid consolidation in the sector. The stock was trading up 0.8% at 124.31 euros ($169.84) in morning trading in Paris.

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