Lafarge confirms 2014 goals after forex, asset sales weigh on H1

PARIS, July 25 Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:16am EDT

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PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - Cement maker Lafarge, which is preparing to merge with Swiss peer Holcim, stuck to its full-year targets on Friday after a first-half performance weighed down by adverse currency rates and asset sales.

Lafarge's earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 2 percent to 812 million euros ($1.09 billion) in the second quarter as sales fell 5 percent to 3.37 billion, the Paris-listed company said in a statement.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected quarterly EBITDA of 827 million euros on sales of 3.47 billion.

The Lafarge-Holcim merger, slated to close by mid 2015, would be the industry's biggest ever. It would help the pair slash costs, trim debt and better cope with the rising energy prices and sluggish demand that have hurt the sector since the 2008 economic crisis. ($1 = 0.7426 Euros) (Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Andrew Callus)

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