Cost savings, solid brick demand lift Wienerberger profit

Austria's Wienerberger, the world's largest brickmaker, reported a 25 percent jump in third-quarter operating profit on Thursday, helped by cost savings and solid demand in its key markets.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at 99.2 million euros ($113.4 million) in the three months through September, the company said. Analysts had expected an EBIT of 106.6 million euros, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenues increased 7 percent to 888.1 million euros, helped by good sales of its bricks in Eastern Europe, the company said.

Wienerberger is in the midst of an efficiency drive to streamline its purchasing processes and distribution to deal with rising costs in the sector. It is also selling units not seen as a priority, while acquiring businesses that broaden its product range.

"We are determined to seize opportunities for growth through acquisitions in strategically interesting fields of business and markets even faster than in the past," Chief Executive Heimo Scheuch said in a statement. "We are fully on track to reach our targets for 2018."

Wienerberger updated its full-year targets last month, now expecting to post a core profit of at least 460 million euros this year. It also increased its 2020 forecast of adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to approximately 680 million euros.