Italy’s Buzzi aims to cut debt, raise dividend

Italy’s Buzzi aims to cut debt, raise dividend
Published: 21 April 2004

Italian cement company Buzzi Unicem (BZU.MI) is aiming in the near future to cut debt, keep high levels of operating efficiency and if possible further its dividend, its deputy chairman said on Tuesday.

Franco Buzzi also said the company, which controls Germany’s second-largest cement maker Dyckerhoff , would be on the lookout for acquisitions of limited size.

"In the near future we want to reduce our debt, keep the group at maximum efficiency and we plan to pay a dividend, possibly growing, to our shareholders," he said during a presentation to analysts.

"If there are investment opportunities, above all in emerging markets, we will look at them selectively," he said, adding that any such acquisitions would be "limited in size and geographically connectable with our system."

Buzzi’s net debt at the end of 2003 was EUR406.3m down EUR125.8m from the end of 2002.