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UPDATE 1-Impairments push Lafarge Africa to 2017 loss, shares fall

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LAGOS, April 9 (Reuters) - Lafarge Africa on Monday reported a bigger loss for 2017 due partly to a one-off impairment of around 33 billion naira ($105 million) for delays to a project in Nigeria and losses in its South Africa business.

The African division of Franco-Swiss group Lafarge Holcim reported a pretax loss of 34.03 billion naira, from a loss of 22.82 billion naira the previous year.

Bruno Bayet, chief financial officer, told Reuters the impairments accounted for the bulk of the loss, without which the cement maker would have turned a profit.

"The operations in Nigeria are still very robust and we have maintained strong performance. The reason for this performance is that we have recognised impairments in Nigeria and South Africa," Bayet told Reuters.

Bayet said the company took an impairment of 12.5 billion naira for a road project leading to its cement plant in the southeastern Nigerian city of Calabar which had taken too much time to construct. It also took an impairment for its loss-making South African assets and changed its management team.

Lafarge Africa's shares, listed on the Lagos bourse, fell 9.73 percent to a one-year low on the news. They later recovered some ground but were still down more than 7 percent.

Bayet said core profit for Lafarge Africa doubled to 58 billion naira in 2017 from the previous year, with sales rising 36 percent

($1 = 314.50 naira) (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Mark Potter and Jane Merriman)