Lafarge keeps savings and debt goals despite currency hit

PARIS Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:19am EST

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PARIS Feb 19 (Reuters) - Lafarge's sales and profit took a hit from volatile currencies in the fourth quarter but the French cement maker stuck to its cost savings and debt reduction targets on Wednesday, betting on continued growth in emerging markets and a recovery in North America and Europe.

Quarterly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 6 percent to 793 million euros ($1.09 billion), while sales dipped 2 percent to 3.71 billion.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected quarterly sales of 3.7 billion euros and EBITDA of 853 million.

The group kept its dividend stable at 1 euro per share and reaffirmed its target to achieve at least 600 million euros of EBITDA this year from cost reduction and innovation measures, and to reduce net debt below 9 billion. ($1 = 0.7272 euros) (Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by James Regan)

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