By Adam Mitchell And Geraldine Amiel
PARIS—French building-materials company Lafarge SA on Friday reported its third-quarter net profit slipped 8% amid a sluggish recovery in developed markets.
Lafarge said net profit in the three months ended Sept. 30 fell to €372 million ($528.5 million) from €404 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 6% to €4.5 billion from €4.25 billion a year earlier as the company consolidated new assets in Brazil.
Lafarge reiterated its full-year forecast and said it expects cement demand this year to range between a drop of 1% and an increase of 3%.
"Moving forward, we will continue to implement our strict financial discipline and expect to benefit from solid volume growth in emerging markets," the group's Chairman and Chief Executive Bruno Lafont said in a statement.
Shares of Lafarge have lost 22% of their value over the course of 2010, underperforming the CAC-40 Index, amid concern that a convincing global recovery is proving slow to materialize and fears over the company's investment-grade credit rating.
Still, the shares closed Thursday up 5.7% at €45.24. The shares benefited from results from Lafarge's German peer HeidelbergCement /zigman2/quotes/202418791/delayed DE:HEI +0.19% AG, whose third-quarter earnings Thursday showed an improvement as emerging markets continued to grow and North America and Europe showed signs of recovery.