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LAFARGE CORPORATION REPORTS EARNINGS IMPROVEMENT

 LAFARGE CORPORATION REPORTS EARNINGS IMPROVEMENT
 RESTON, Va., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Lafarge Corporation


(NYSE: LAF; TSE, ME), one of the leading construction materials companies in the United States and Canada, today reported a substantial improvement in earnings for the second quarter.
 Net income reached $18.9 million (32 cents per common equity share) compared with $4.3 million (8 cents per share) in the second quarter of 1991. Net sales in the quarter fell 3 percent to $414.5 million from $428.5 million in 1991.
 Robert W. Murdoch, Lafarge's president and chief executive officer, attributed the jump in second-quarter earnings to moves made during the recession to streamline operations and cut costs.
 "We took a number of actions to reduce our operating expenses last year and now they are paying off," Murdoch said. "While some of those moves were painful, they had to be taken to return Lafarge to profitability, which is our number one goal this year."
 Another objective in 1992, Murdoch said, is to reduce debt. As of June 30, Lafarge's net indebtedness was down $27 million from the prior year.
 Cement sales volumes reached 3.5 million tons in the second quarter, a 2 percent increase from 1991. Net sales prices were flat, while average unit production costs fell by 3 percent.
 Aggregate shipments totalled 12.1 million tons in the second quarter, up 1 percent from last year. Ready-mixed concrete sales fell 6 percent to 1.3 million cubic meters.
 For the first half of 1992, Lafarge Corporation recorded a loss of $58.6 million, which is $16.2 million better than last year. Net sales for the first six months of 1992 were $625.6 million, compared with $644.8 million in the first half of 1991.
 Lafarge currently operates 16 full-production cement plants, three cement grinding facilities and more than 100 distribution facilities throughout the United States and Canada, with an annual productive capacity of more than 15 million tons of cement. The company also has more than 450 construction materials operations and is one of the largest suppliers of ready-mixed concrete and aggregates in North America. Systech Environmental Corporation, a Lafarge subsidiary, is a leader in co-processing, or recycling industrial waste into fuel for cement kilns.
 Based in Reston, Lafarge Corporation is a Fortune 500 company with 8,300 employees and 1991 sales of $1.6 billion. Its majority shareholder, Lafarge Coppee of Paris, is one of the world's largest producers of building materials with operations in 35 countries and 1991 sales of $5.6 billion.
 LAFARGE CORPORATION
 Financial Highlights
 (Unaudited and in thousands, except per share amounts)
 Quarter Ended June 30, 1992 1991
 Net Sales $ 414,502 $ 428,520
 Net Income $ 18,952 $ 4,331
 Net Income
 Per Common Equity Share $ 0.32 $ 0.08
 Average Number of Common
 Equity Shares Outstanding 59,105 56,383
 Six Months Ended June 30,
 Net Sales $ 625,629 $ 644,834
 Net Loss $ (58,575) $ (74,751)
 Net Loss
 Per Common Equity Share $ (1.01) $ (1.34)
 Average Number of Common
 Equity Shares Outstanding 58,210 55,946
 -0- 7/22/92
 /CONTACT: Jean-Pierre Cloiseau of Lafarge Corporation, 703-264-3670/
 (LAF) CO: Lafarge Corporation ST: Virginia IN: CST SU: ERN


MH -- DC006 -- 1837 07/22/92 11:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 22, 1992
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