October 2, 2018 / 2:26 PM / 2 months ago

Wienerberger ups 2018, mid-term core profit forecast

FILE PHOTO: Brick samples are on display outside the headquarters of Wienerberger, the world's biggest brick maker, in Hennersdorf, Austria, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s Wienerberger (WBSV.VI), the world’s largest brickmaker, said it would accelerate its efficiency efforts and increased its medium-term earnings forecast by 13 percent, lifting its shares more than 7 percent.

The group raised its 2020 forecast of adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to approximately 680 million euros ($785 million) from more than 600 million euros previously.

Wienerberger also said it now expects to post an adjusted EBITDA of at least 460 million euros this year, 10 million more than previously forecast.

“We will intensify our activities to boost our profitability,” said Chief Executive Heimo Scheuch in a statement.

“We have therefore combined all our current initiatives into a comprehensive program to enhance their impact. Hence, we are very optimistic to exceed our original growth and earnings target in the medium term.”

Wienerberger will upgrade production processes at all sites, enhance energy efficiency, optimize its purchasing processes and distribution structures as part of its efforts, it said.

The group’s shares gained as much as 7.4 percent to 23.36 euros, while the European sector index .SXOP traded 0.5 percent lower.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Francois Murphy/Keith Weir

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