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HeidelbergCement Lifts Dividend As Full-year Profit Rises, Raises Savings Target

Germany's HeidelbergCement (HDELY.PK) reported Thursday higher profit for 2011, upped its dividend by 40 percent and said it expects to increase revenue and operating profit in 2012. The construction materials group noted that its efficiency improvement program exceeded expectations in 2011, helping it increase its savings target from the program by 250 million euros.

Group share of profit for 2011 advanced to 348.1 million euros ($454.13 million) from 342.7 million euros, despite sharply higher income taxes. Earnings per share attributable to the parent entity grew to 1.86 euros per share from 1.83 euros per share.

Net profit for the year grew 5 percent to 534 million euros and included 138 million euros in charges. Operating income grew 3 percent from last year.

Revenue increased 10 percent to 12.902 billion euros from last year's 11.762 billion euros.

Volume of cement and ready-mixed concrete increased 12 percent each, while aggregates volume climbed 6 percent.

Income taxes totaled 238.3 million euros, sharply more than 59.7 million euros in the prior year.

The company proposed a dividend of 0.35 euros, up 40 percent from last year.

HeidelbergCement has increased its saving target from 600 million euros to 850 million euros for the three-year efficiency improvement program "FOX 2013", spanning between 2011 and 2013. The company wants to achieve another 200 million euros of this total amount in 2012 compared to the base year 2010.

HeidelbergCement also plans cost reductions of 150 million euros by 2014 under a new supply chain optimisation program.

The company expects to further increase revenue and operating income in 2012 due to these initiatives.

The stock settled on the Xetra in Frankfurt on Wednesday higher by 0.67 percent at 42.40 euros on a volume of 996,423 shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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