Lafarge operates in all three sectors of its industry, extracting raw materials, manufacturing finished goods and providing sales and after-sales service for customers. In this way, Lafarge is able to take control of and manage not just operational efficiencies but also quality, health and safety and its impact on the environment.

Since the C19th, the balance of UK activity overall has been changing, moving to an increasingly service-orientated economy. Industries such as mining (primary) and manufacturing (secondary) have reduced due to cheaper goods from overseas competitors. However, certain key industries in the UK, such as steel and cement, have experienced growth, with new technologies and innovation driving demand.

Manufacturing accounts for about 10.5% of the UK economy. Last week, GDP figures showed that manufacturing output fell by 0.3% in the first quarter. Analysts said the data suggested the manufacturing sector was strengthening. (BBC, 1st May 2013)

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