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ots Ad hoc-Service: Wienerberger Baustoffind.
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Vienna (ots Ad hoc-Service) - 1999 Results In 1999 Wienerberger
performed significantly better than expected during the year. Group
sales rose by 17% to Euro 1,337.5 million. This growth was
particularly noticeable in the building materials sector, where sales
increased by 32% to Euro 1,162.5 million in line with our strategy.
Development in the Reform Countries was especially strong, with sales
rising by 38% to Euro 239.2 million. Eastern Europe accounted for 18%
of Group sales in 1999. Following the acquisition of General Shale in
mid-July 1999, sales in the USA reached an initial level of 7%.
Earnings also improved significantly during the reporting year. Group
EBIT rose by 15% to Euro 187.8 million, with developments in the
building materials sector above-average. Operating profit recorded in
the brick and
pipe segments increased from Euro 99.3 million (excluding Sturm concrete business and Wienerberger Far East) by 35% to Euro 134.2 million. Organic growth in building materials reached an impressive
17%. In our non-core business, an expected earnings decline in the cyclical metallurgy business was offset by additional revenues from other investments. Earnings per share increased by 6% from Euro 1.64 to 1.74 in contrast to forecasts made during the year. This was entirely the result of higher operating profit. The Managing Board therefore recommends an increase in the dividend from Euro 0.45 to 0.50 per share. In total, we invested no less than Euro 501 million in the expansion and development of new and existing markets during 1999. Of this amount, Euro 155.8 million represent investments in tangible and intangible assets. We spent Euro 344.9 million on the acquisition of companies, with a focus on General Shale and Mabo. For 2000, Wienerberger assumes developments in major West European markets will be positive in the key segment - new housing construction. Euroconstruct also forecasts above-average rates of growth for the coming years in the largest East European markets of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The USA, in contrast, is expected to register a slight decline from its current high level during the second half of the year. This decrease is expected to be offset to a large extent, however, by rising consumer preference for bricks as a building material. The potential we have created through high investment activity in recent years will lead to strong growth in sales and earnings this year. Substantial contributions to earnings are expected, in particular, from new markets in the USA and Poland. Wienerberger Baustoffindustrie AG, The Managing Board Vienna, March 28, 2000 For additional information, contact: Corporate Communications / Investor Relations Thomas MelzerTel.: +43 (1) 60192-471 (463) EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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