PARIS, July 25 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
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)