Lenzing 2011 Net Rises 62%, Increase Dividend to 2.5 Euros

Lenzing AG (LNZ), an Austrian maker of cellulose fibers, said 2011 profit increased 62 percent and predicted a further increase in sales and earnings this year.

Net income soared to 258.7 million euros ($341 million) from 159.1 million euros a year earlier, according to a statement today. That’s in line with the average estimate of 259.3 million euros of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Sales increased 21 percent to 2.14 billion euros, compared to a 2.12 billion-euro estimate by analysts. Lenzing also is proposing increasing its dividend to 2.5 euros a share from 1.55 euros last year.

Lenzing’s majority shareholder, B&C Industrieholding GmbH, last year sold part of its stake in the fibre maker to increase the so-called free float in the company. This allowed Lenzing to join Austria’s benchmark ATX Index in September.

Shares fell 1.8 percent to 82.51 euros at 9:41 a.m. in Vienna, reducing Lenzing’s increase this year to 29 percent.

“Once again the Lenzing Group expects a good year in 2012, which should see quarterly development in a mirror-inverted manner,” the company said in the statement. “However, in terms of margins the current financial year will not be able to fully match the exceptional record year of 2011.”

Lenzing said it sees sales of 2.2 billion euros to 2.3 billion euros for 2012, topping an average analyst estimate of 2.1 billion euros. Ebitda is seen between 400 million euros and 480 million and Ebit at between 285 million euros and 365 million euros, in line with analyst estimates of 436.6 million euros and 311.5 million euros.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zoe Schneeweiss at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

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