Bloomberg News

Wienerberger Falls as Profit Misses Estimates: Vienna Mover

February 21, 2012

(Closes shares in second paragraph.)

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Wienerberger AG fell in Vienna trading after the world’s biggest brickmaker’s 2011 net income missed analyst estimates, even as the company returned to profit after two years of losses.

Shares declined 1.7 percent to 9.325 euros at the 5:30 close of trading in the Austrian capital, the biggest decline since Feb. 10.

The manufacturer had net income of 9 million euros ($12 million euros), compared to a loss of 67 million euros a year earlier, according to the Vienna-based company’s Chief Executive Officer Heimo Scheuch. It was expected to report a profit of 11.8 million euros, according to the average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Sales increased 16 percent to 2 billion euros and operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 23 percent to 258.6 million euros, on the higher end of Wienerberger’s predicted 250 million euro to 260 million euro range.

The brickmaker, which has 232 plants in Europe and North America, closed five plants and mothballed another six last year in the U.S., the U.K., Belgium and the former Yugoslavia to counter weaker demand in Europe and North America. Total plant utilization increased to 65 percent from 60 percent. The company is expanding its offering and last week bought the 50 percent in plastic-pipe-systems maker Pipelife it didn’t already own from Solvay SA for 162 million euros.

Wienerberger proposed a dividend of 0.12 euros a share, beating the estimate by Bloomberg research and analysis, after a 0.10 euro dividend last year.

The brickmaker predicts a profit this year and has a mid- term operating Ebitda goal of 500 million euros in 2014 or 2015, the CEO said. Wienerberger didn’t provide a 2012 forecast because of “limited visibility” in eastern Europe and the U.S., it said in a statement.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zoe Schneeweiss at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net


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