February 22, 2017 / 7:33 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Wienerberger expects solid demand for its bricks in 2017

(Adds outlook, revenue)

VIENNA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Austrian brickmaker Wienerberger expects to further increase its core profit in the current year, helped by demand from European and North American house builders and public sector investments in Eastern Europe.

The world's largest brickmaker on Wednesday forecast its 2017 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for contributions from the sale of non-core assets and growth projects, exchange rate effects and structural adjustments, to increase 8.6 percent to 415 million euros ($437 million).

"The economic environment will still be characterized by a great deal of uncertainty throughout the year," Chief Executive Heimo Scheuch said in a statement.

The Austrian company reported a slightly bigger than expected 9 percent increase in its 2016 core profit, helped by accelerating demand in residential construction in Europe and the United States. Revenue was flat at 3 billion euros, as expected.

Wienerberger said it plans to increase its dividend payment by 35 percent to 0.27 euro per share for 2016. ($1 = 0.9499 euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Francois Murphy and Louise Heavens)

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