HeidelbergCement hoards liquidity due to financial crisis

HeidelbergCement hoards liquidity due to financial crisis
Published: 04 June 2012

Tagged Under: HeidelbergCement Germany 

HeidelbergCement AG is hoarding liquidity to create a buffer should the Eurozone crisis deepen, its chief executive told the Wall Street Journal Deutschland in an interview.

"At the end of the first quarter, our total liquidity was more than EUR3.7bn," Bernd Scheifele said, adding HeidelbergCement could cover all its debt maturity dates with that amount over the next 24 months.

While the sovereign-debt crisis in Greece has had little impact on the cement maker's operations, Scheifele said, as the company has little reach in southern Europe. The euro crisis is, however, hindering the company from expanding into new countries, as "this isn't the time to be bold," he said.

But HeidelbergCement is seeking to expand capacity in the emerging markets it already operates in, Scheifele said, like Indonesia, Kazakhstan or West Africa.

He reiterated HeidelbergCement's earlier guidance for an increase in sales and operating earnings for 2012, and said the second quarter was in line with expectations.

"The trend in our important core markets is unbroken," Scheifele said, with good business in Asia and northern Europe, and a gradual pick-up in North America.