Wienerberger AG, the world’s leading brick manufacturer, increased turnover by 10.4% in 2003, to Eur1826.0m. Organic growth was around 4%, with the initial contribution from Koramic Roofing adding Eur108.6m while adverse exchange rate movements, principally the US dollar and the Polish zloty reduced the sales figure by Eur70.6m. The underlying growth reflected higher volumes in eastern Europe and better prices in parts of western
Europe. In the United States, General Shale increased turnover in dollar
terms by some 9% on the back of strong volumes, but the fall in the UIS currency reduced this number by a similar percentage on conversion.
The operating profit at the EBITDA level advanced by 15.2% to Eur348.5m and the margin widened from 18.3% to 19.1%, while the trading profit (EBIT) rose by 25.5% to Eur190.2m. The profits were boosted by good levels of activity in the final quarter.
The EBITDA in central and eastern Europe brick business increased by 14.2% to €108.4m with good growth rates being achieved in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well as in the second half from Poland and the Austrian market is now showing signs of improvement.