Wienerberger makes a good start to the year

Wienerberger makes a good start to the year
Published: 10 May 2004

In the first quarter of 2004, turnover at Wienerberger AG rose by some 15% to €312.3m and the EBITDA emerged around 30% higher at €51.9m, in spite of negative exchange rate effects, principally from the US dollar and the Polish zloty.  The strongest growth came in central and eastern Europe, where turnover rose by 28% to €74.2m, with advance buying ahead of the introduction of VAT on building materials in Poland on the 1st of May and a price increase in bricks in Hungary on the 1st of April.  Volumes were also well ahead in Romania, but declined in Slovakia and in Croatia.  Volumes recovered in Germany and Switzerland and remained strong in Italy.  In north-western Europe, volumes were generally slightly ahead with a useful increase in profits.  In the United States, the strong housing market led to a 32% increase in turnover and a 68% rise in EBITDA in local currency terms, but on conversion this is reduced to +13% to €13% and +44% to €10.3m respectively.  However, the positive volume and price trend in the United States remains intact