* Bad weather, weak Indonesia blamed for Q4 sales slide
* Italcementi synergies, cost inflation in focus in 2017
* Shares indicated down 2.8 pct
(Adds share indication, details on regional outlook, rivals,
By Georgina Prodhan
FRANKFURT, Feb 14 HeidelbergCement
said it would focus this year on realising the benefits from the
acquisition of Italcementi and on raising prices to combat cost
inflation after a patchy fourth quarter that missed market
The company, which reinforced its position among the world's
top three building-materials suppliers with its Italcementi deal
last year, blamed bad weather and a weak Indonesian market for a
4 percent slide in quarterly sales.
HeidelbergCement shares were indicated down 2.8 percent
ahead of the Frankfurt market open, at the bottom of the
blue-chip DAX. "Figures should trigger profit-taking,"
a Frankfurt trader said.
Quarterly pro-forma revenue, including Italcementi
contributions for the full years 2015 and 2016, fell to 4.24
billion euros ($4.5 billion), below the average estimate of 4.5
billion euros in a Reuters poll.
Operating income before depreciation (OIBD) rose 2 percent
on a like-for-like basis to 818 million euros, HeidelbergCement
said on Tuesday, also below the poll average, which was 847
Western Europe, the group's biggest revenue source, was the
only region to show growth, thanks to a strong German economy,
housing and infrastructure projects in Britain and a Dutch
turnaround. North America was hit by an early start to winter.
"In 2017, we will focus on the realisation of the synergies
from the Italcementi acquisition and on measures in view of cost
inflation. Price increases will play an important role in this
context," Chief Executive Bernd Scheifele said in a statement.
"HeidelbergCement is very well equipped to follow up on the
new strategic priorities - growth and increase in shareholder
return - over the coming years."
The company is due to present detailed financial results and
a 2017 outlook on March 16.
HeidelbergCement said it foresaw a further decline in demand
and an increase in excess capacities in China, although it did
not expect this to lead to a significant increase in Chinese
exports since most capacity is located inland.
It said it expected a stronger economic recovery in North
America this year, continuing improvement in Britain and
increasing infrastructure investments in Indonesia - which have
Mexican rival Cemex last week forecast sales
volume growth of up to 3 percent this year. Its shares have
rallied on hopes it could benefit from U.S. President Donald
Trump's plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Lafargeholcim, the world's biggest cement maker, is
due to report 2016 results on March 2.
($1 = 0.9415 euros)
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier
and Jane Merriman)