Wienerberger improves first half margins

Wienerberger improves first half margins
Published: 23 August 2004

First half turnover at Wienerberger rose by 15.1% to €837.6m and the EBITDA improved by 22.6% to €185.8m, while, after adjusting for changes to accounting policy, the trading profit emerged 35.1% higher at €120.4m.  In the central and eastern European division, turnover increased by 18.4% to €231.7m, with the EBITDA margin improving from 27.1% to 28.6%. Sales were ahead in all countries except for Slovakia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, while the strongest growth was seen in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.  Although the Austrian domestic market remained difficult, export shipments were ahead, ensuring full capacity utilisation. In Germany/Switzerland/Italy, turnover was 18.9% higher at €180.3m, with the EBITDA margin little changed at 20.2% and both prices and volumes improving for bricks in Germany.  In western and northern Europe, there was a 22.2% increase in turnover to €298.4m, with EBITDA margins widening from 18.6% to 19.5%.  France reported better volumes and prices, as did Belgium and the Nordic area, except for Denmark. The Netherlands was the other disappointing market, but the weakness in domestic demand could be compensated for by increasing exports to Great Britain.