HeidelbergCement to pay Euro 1.15 dividend

HeidelbergCement to pay Euro 1.15 dividend
Published: 25 March 2004

The supervisory board of German cement concern HeidelbergCement approved a proposal for a 1.15 euro ($1.42) per share dividend payment for 2003 after waiving dividends for 2002, the company reported on March 24, 2004.  In 2001, HeidelbergCement paid a 1.15 euro ($1.42) dividend per share and waived dividends for 2002 in order to reduce debts.  HeidelbergCement is to present financial results for 2003 on March 25, 2004 with analysts, polled by Reuters, expecting a net profit of 168m euro ($207 mln) for 2003, versus a 248m euro ($306m) net profit for 2002. Analysts expect a 408 mln euro ($503 mln) operating profit for 2003, compared to a 500 mln euro ($616 mln) operating profit for 2002. The polled expect a rise in profit for the fourth quarter of 2003.  HeidelbergCement CEO Hans Bauer already said that net profit for 2004 is expected below the 2003 level. Bauer blamed decreased profit on the fall in cement prices in Germany.  Cement and clinker sales went up to 51.1Mt in 2003, up by 11.5 per cent year-on-year, mainly due to the purchase of cement production plants. Excluding acquisitions, sales rose by 1.7 per cent year-on-year for 2003.