Lafarge, the world's biggest listed cement supplier, beat forecasts with a 53 per cent rise in first-half net profit as higher prices helped offset relentlessly rising energy costs.
And the French company said the UK was likely to be among countries to see second half price rises.
The company, planning to move its Lafarge Cement UK headquarters to the NEC, said it expected an improvement in second-half results but at a more moderate pace than in the same period last year due to a higher tax rate.
Net profit in the first half increased to 548 million euros ( £374.3 million) from 359 million (£245.2 million) a year ago.
Operating profit increased 41 per cent to 1.177 billion euros (£803.9 billion) on sales of 8.759 billion euros (£5.98 billion.)
Against a backdrop of a strong construction market in Europe, a poll of 11 analysts had on average forecast a net profit of 514.8 million euros (£351.6 million) and an operating profit of 1.092 billion euros (£745.8 million).
Lafarge also supplies concrete, gypsum, sand and gravel.
Its results come after S aint-Gobain last week reported robust interim results and raised its 2006 profit growth targets on expectations of continuing strength in the European market with a recovery in Germany.
Chief executive officer Bruno Lafont, who took over seven months ago from Bernard Kasriel, said the group planned further price rises on a country-by-country basis in the second half.
Countries which would see price increases included the UK, Poland, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa and some regions in North America.
Lafarge said yesterday it expected an improvement in second-half results but at a more moderate pace than in the year-ago period, which was particularly strong and had a lower tax rate.
Second-half profits should be helped by the company's buyout of minority interests at its Lafarge North America unit, setting the firm up for its aim to increase annual earn-ings per share (EPS) by more than ten per cent on average by 2008.
Lafarge said it would boost next year's dividend in line with EPS growth.
WestLB analyst Ralf Doeper said he would maintain his "add" rating on Lafarge but might upgrade the share price target from 104 euros. He said: "These are very good results and if you look at the consensus it's a better performance than expected.
"All the divisions contributed to earnings growth and managed to show profitability improvements as well."
Cheuvreux analyst Arnaud Lehmann said he might raise his full-year earnings estimates.
Shares in the French group rose by 1.87 per cent to 95.30 euros, just outperforming the DJ Stoxx construction and building materials index, up 1.43 per cent. The stock has gained 25.7 per cent since the start of the year.
The gain came chiefly as investors cheered the buyout of the North American unit's minorities as well as a raised earnings target and the potential sale of the group's underperforming roofing business.
Lafarge has said it hopes its new purpose built NEC offices should be ready for occupation in the second half of 2007.