Andritz Lifts Dividend, Sees Increased Profit on Hydro-Power

Andritz AG, the world’s second-biggest hydro-turbine maker, lifted its payout to shareholders and forecast higher 2013 profit even as sectors of the global economy stagnate.

The company proposed a 1.20 euros a share dividend compared with 1.10 euros a year earlier after full-year net income rose 6 percent to 243.6 million euros ($318.6 million), the Graz, Austria-based company said today in a statement. Revenue increased 13 percent to 5.18 billion euros. Analysts had estimated a profit of 245.3 million euros and sales of 5.15 billion euros, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“We expect no significant recovery of the global economy also in this year,” Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Leitner said in the statement, without giving detailed 2013 revenue or profit targets. “We still see solid development with good project activity in the markets.”

Andritz, which gained 51 percent last year on the Vienna stock exchange, has expanded outside Austria to boost sales and profit. It won contracts to supply equipment in countries including Brazil, China and Russia. The company will consolidate earnings from Schuler AG, the German metal company it acquired last year, from March 1.

Job Cuts

“Schuler has never made as much revenue and profit as last year,” Leitner said at a press conference. “It’s certainly a peak in the performance,” he said, adding that he expects restructuring will be needed at the company, and he didn’t rule out job cuts.

Andritz’s shares fell 2.2 percent to 52.85 euros at 12:37 a.m. in Vienna.

“The stock has had a strong run over the last months,” Thomas Neuhold, an analyst at Kepler Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients. “Further share-price gains seem rather difficult.”

Fourth-quarter net income fell 4.7 percent to 76.4 million euros. Sales rose 4.4 percent to 1.41 billion euros. The company was predicted to lift its dividend to 1.25 euros a share, according to a Bloomberg dividend forecast.