Wienerberger Chief Scheuch Sees Fourth-Quarter Ebitda Increase

Wienerberger AG’s chief executive officer said he expects the world’s biggest brickmaker to report higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization in the fourth quarter as it controls production costs and makes better use of capacity.

“Ebitda will be somewhere between the figures for the last two years,” Heimo Scheuch said yesterday in a telephone interview from Birmingham, England, where the company is making presentations to investors. “The snow in Europe this week is obviously hurting us.”

Wienerberger reported Ebitda of 31.1 million euros ($41 million) in last year’s fourth quarter and 75.4 million euros a year earlier. Analysts are expecting a profit of 51 million euros, according to the median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The Vienna-based brickmaker closed 39 plants and mothballed another 19 in 2008 and 2009 to counter weaker demand in Europe and the U.S. Cost-saving measures have cut expenses by 200 million euros, according to Scheuch. In total, Wienerberger plants will probably finish the year having used about 60 percent of its production capacity, he said.

Scheuch, 44, who took over as CEO in August 2009, said he expects a “continuation of the slight recovery” in Wienerberger’s north-west and central-west European units in 2011. In North America, he sees the “bottoming out” continuing, while there is “limited visibility in all markets” in eastern Europe.

In the first nine months of this year, Wienerberger generated 41 percent of its revenue in its northwest region, which includes France, the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavian markets, and 22 percent in central-west Europe, consisting of Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Eastern Europe was responsible for 30 percent of revenue, while North America generated 8 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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