Wienerberger see UK as ‘weak’ market

Overall the first quarter has been a positive one for Wienerberger, according to their latest financial statement, despite a mixed bag of results geographically as the UK and Germany turn in weaker forecasts.
Overall the company increased revenue for the first three months of the year by 13% to €574m. However, the same period saw pre-tax profits decline by €3.1m to €30.2m. The reason for the decline, according to a statement issued by Wienerberger ceo Wolfgang Reithofer, was the inclusion of €10m of non-recurring income in the previous year’s results.

The star player in the period was central-east Europe where revenues rose 31% to €204.4m. Sales volumes did increase in France, Netherlands and the UK where Reithofer says: “against the backdrop of a declining market, the improvement in Great Britain was realized through the consolidation of Baggeridge and Sandtoft.”

Sandtoft, the last major roof tile manufacturer in the UK, was just one of the company’s acquisitions in the quarter – a period which saw total investment reach €123m.

Going forward, the company’s growth strategy remains in place but there is an awareness of a potential downturn. “For this year I expect continuing sound demand in central-east Europe and further revenue and earnings improvement in north-west Europe due to consolidation effects,” said Reithofer.

“Our major challenges will be the Anglo-American region and the German market. Forecasts for Great Britain have been revised downward to reflect more restrictive financing conditions for private households and declining property prices. In these weak markets I therefore see active capacity management as our top priority.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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