HeidelbergCement still expects to reduce its debts to almost EUR8bn by the end of 2010 from EUR9.1bn, CEO Bernd Scheifele said.
Despite the weak recovery in the sector Scheifele maintained the target for a relatively strong free cash flow this year.
In the first half, free cash flow from the operating business was still negative which is usual in the construction sector due to the winter pause.
In the medium term, HeidelbergCement aims to reduce its debts to 2.8 times the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
Analysts are sceptical about Scheifele’s outlook. A debt target of about EUR 8bn is ambitious, analyst Jochen Schlachter from Unicredit said. He sees Heidelbergcement’s debts at last year’s level of EUR8.5bn.