June 4, 2020 / 11:34 AM / a month ago

HeidelbergCement's sales in Italy plunged in April, May - CFO

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

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE), the world’s No. 2 cement maker, saw its sales fall significantly in Italy in the past two months, its chief financial officer told shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting.

Lorenz Naeger said lockdown measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic had caused the temporary shutdown of several plants in Lombardy region, the epicentre of the outbreak in the country. CEO Dominik von Achten said that sales in Italy fell by more than 80% in April.

“The situation is improving at the moment. Production started again in the second half of May,” Naeger said, but cautioned the pandemic’s impact on full-year demand was difficult to assess.

Von Achten, in the job since February, said the group, second globally after Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim (LHN.S), would present a new strategy at its capital markets day scheduled for Sept. 16.

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; writing by Christoph Steitz; editing by Thomas Seythal

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