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HeidelbergCement relaxed about Brexit, had good August in UK
September 30, 2016 / 10:27 AM / a year ago

HeidelbergCement relaxed about Brexit, had good August in UK

A logo of HeidelbergCement is pictured at their headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

STUTTGART, Germany (Reuters) - Germany’s HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE) is seeing strong business in the UK and is more worried about the economic effects if Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election than it is about Brexit, its chief executive said on Friday.

Britain is the company’s second biggest market and CEO Bernd Scheifele told Reuters he even sees potential benefits from the country’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union.

“August was still a strong month for us,” Scheifele said when asked whether his view had changed since July, when he shrugged off the vote result, and said demand had been high since the appointment of Theresa May as prime minister.

“May is more focused on infrastructure spending,” Scheifele said on the sidelines of a speaking engagement in the German city of Stuttgart. “I believe the UK will do better out of the EU than in it.”

Analysts had at first expected Brexit to hurt the earnings of building materials makers like HeidelbergCement, which makes concrete and cement and is the world’s No.1 supplier of construction aggregate, which covers a broad range of materials used in construction including sand, gravel and slag.

The headquarters of HeidelbergCement are pictured in Heidelberg, Germany, June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

HeidelbergCement’s shares took a hit after the June vote.

A logo of HeidelbergCement is pictured at their headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

But UK infrastructure funds have since been hitting record highs on the prospect of more government spending after the vote, bolstered by the view that the effectiveness of ultra-loose monetary policy is reaching its limits.

Earlier, Scheifele expressed concern about the upcoming presidential election in the United States, HeidelbergCement’s biggest market, and the prospect of maverick Republican candidate Donald Trump’s being elected.

“The U.S. elections are very important for us. Trump would be a ticket to an unknown destination and would clearly unsettle the economy, and therefore I fear that business would significantly pull back on investments,” he said.

“With Hillary Clinton, you know where you are.”

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Christoph Steitz and Susan Fenton

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