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Wienerberger upbeat on full-year, sees strong demand in Britain

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Wienerberger upbeat on full-year, sees strong demand in Britain
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the headquarters of Wienerberger, the world's biggest brick maker, in Hennersdorf August 19, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader   -   Copyright  Heinz-Peter Bader(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Wienerberger <WBSV.VI>, the world’s largest brickmaker, raised its full-year forecast on Tuesday after strong demand for its building materials, efficiency gains and revenues from recent acquisitions lifted first-half results.

Wienerberger’s group revenue rose 8% to 1.74 billion euros (£1.62 billion) in the six months through June, while adjusted earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) grew 33% to 286.6 million euros.

“Besides the early start to the construction season due to favourable weather conditions, our intensified focus on premium product solutions and our proactive pricing policy were the main factors contributing to this strong development,” the group said.

The firm now expects adjusted EBITDA of 570 million to 580 million euros in 2019, after guiding for 560 million to 580 million euros previously.

Wienerberger’s generally optimistic outlook echoed those of other construction companies, but unlike most of its rivals it also said business was flourishing in Britain, its largest single market with a 10% revenue contribution.

Demand for the group’s blocks, roof tiles and bricks remained high in Britain, despite growing political and economic uncertainty over the country’s upcoming exit from the European Union, Wienerberger said.

UK revenue grew 15% in the first half to 183.6 million euros.

The world’s largest cement maker LafargeHolcim <LHN.S> said last month that the construction sector was showing resilience in the face of trade wars and a slowing global economy but that Britain was a weak spot due to Brexit uncertainty.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Jan Harvey)

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