GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-HeidelbergCement Q1 operating profit up on mild weather

* Affirms 2014 outlook for higher revenue, operating profit

* Q1 operating profit 50 mln euros vs poll avg 16.9 mln

* Q1 revenue 2.75 bln euros vs poll avg 2.66 bln

* Favourable weather in Europe, price increases boost sales

(Adds CEO quote, forex impact on revenue)

FRANKFURT, May 7 (Reuters) - German cement maker HeidelbergCement posted a more than five-fold increase in quarterly operating income that beat consensus thanks to mild winter weather in Europe and price increases in key markets.

"Europe contributed significantly to the improvement of results due to the mild winter and the positive economic development in our markets," Chief Executive Bernd Scheifele said on Wednesday.

In North America, where private residential construction is driving growth, sales of building materials were affected by a cold and snowy winter, but still remained at virtually the same level as a year earlier, the company said.

Despite a 221 million euro ($307.92 million) negative impact from weak currencies, price increases in key markets as well as double-digit percentage growth in the sales volume of cement, aggregates, ready-mixed concrete and asphalt boosted revenue by 5.7 percent to 2.75 billion euros, beating estimates.

Operating income jumped to 50 million euros from 9 million in the year-earlier period and beat the average estimate of 16.9 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

HeidelbergCement said it continued to expect an increase in revenue, operating income and profit for this year on a like-for-like basis.

Shares in HeidelbergCement have risen 14 percent so far this year, while rivals Lafarge was up 21 percent and Holcim 17 percent. The STOXX Europe 600 Construction & Materials Index was up 13 percent during this period.

($1 = 0.7177 euros)

(Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Ludwig Burger and Matt Driskill)