July 30, 2019 / 5:19 AM / 3 months ago

HeidelbergCement maintains full-year guidance despite bad weather in second-quarter

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 second-biggest cement maker, said on Tuesday that market dynamics had weakened slightly in the second quarter due to bad weather, but confirmed its full-year outlook for higher sales and profits.

Heavy rains in parts of North America and Eastern Europe led to a decline in construction activity in the April-June period, the group said.

“The generally positive market dynamics in many of HeidelbergCement’s markets weakened slightly in the second quarter as a result of uncertainties regarding future economic developments and weather-related disruption in Eastern Europe and North America,” the group said.

Its preliminary result from current operations before depreciation (RCOBD) came in at 1.05 billion euros (£964.12 million) in the second quarter, a like-for-like increase of 1%.

Energy costs, a major cost burden for cement makers, are expected to fall in 2019, HeidelbergCement said, maintaining its outlook for a 3-9% rise in both sales and net profit.

The company also said it was on track to reach its portfolio optimisation target of disposals worth 500 million euros by the end of the year, part of a wider programme to consolidate the business and protect profit margins.

The world’s No. 1 cement maker LafargeHolcim (LHN.S) is due to report first-half results on Wednesday.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Michelle Martin and Susan Fenton

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