Wienerberger ups full-year earnings forecast after pent-up demand in second-quarter

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's Wienerberger WBSV.VI slightly raised its profit outlook on Monday after second-quarter earnings came in better than expected due to a robust pick up in demand after some pandemic-related restrictions were eased.

The world’s largest brickmaker now expects 2020 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 460-480 million euros (419.33-437.56 million pounds).

That’s down from 587 million last year but higher than its previous guidance of 440-480 million.

Second-quarter EBITDA fell 17% to 150 million euros on sales down 12% at 847 million euros.

Government-imposed lockdowns in key markets including its home market Austria, weighed heavily on earnings in April and May, Wienerberger said.

But the group, which operates across Europe and North America, said demand returned relatively quickly after it started to ramp up production in some markets from mid-May and was particularly strong in June due to catch-up effects.

“However, we do not see a similar trend for the rest of the year,” the group said in a statement.

Wienerberger will publish its full second-quarter report on August 12.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; edited by Thomas Seythal and Jason Neely