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09 May 2011

Strong European recovery for Heidelberg

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Mild winter weather and stronger than expected recovery in Europe have been cited by HeidelbergCement as the main driver of increased turnover in the first three months of the year. The company reported sales of €2.6billion in the first quarter of the year, up 19% from €2.1billion in the same period in 2010, while operating income was up 48% to €253million.

Heidelberg reported a stronger than expected economic recovery in Western and Northern Europe as well as Eastern Europe-Central Asia, which the company said led to a significant rise in sales volumes in all business lines in the first quarter.

The company has also reported that it expects further recovery in demand in Western and Northern Europe, which will be primarily driven by strong trends in Scandinavia and Germany. The company also said, “We continue to anticipate consistently weak development in Hungary and Romania, we expect a rise in demand in Poland and Central Asia in particular and, in the second half of 2011, in the Czech Republic.”

Heidelberg CEO Dr Bernd Scheifele said, “The considerable growth in sales volumes in the first quarter was the result of a better than expected economic recovery as well as a significantly milder winter in our European markets. For the whole of 2011, we still anticipate a slow recovery in the mature markets as well as rising cost and inflationary pressure. We are therefore maintaining our focus on cash flow and stable margins in order to reduce our debt and further improve the key financial ratios.

“We will consistently continue our efforts to reduce costs and increase efficiency within the scope of the "FOX 2013" programme. At the same time, we will continue to make targeted investments in new cement capacities in growing markets.”

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