HeidelbergCement expects moderate sales, profit growth in 2019

A logo of HeidelbergCement is pictured at their headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - HeidelbergCement, the world’s second-largest cement maker, expects sales and profits to grow moderately, it said on Thursday, reflecting energy cost inflation and higher demand for construction materials in Indonesia, Europe and North America.

Shares in the company, which on Wednesday hit their highest in more than five months, were 1.6 percent lower in early trade. One trader said he expected profit taking after what he said was an in-line outlook.

In a statement, the group said: “Tailwinds from energy cost inflation, a clear result improvement in Indonesia, as well as solid developments in Europe and North America ... should result in a solid result improvement.”

Based on Refintiv estimates, HeidelbergCement’s sales are expected to grow by 3.8 percent this year. HeidelbergCement’s dividend proposal of 2.10 euros per share for 2018, the ninth consecutive increase, came in slightly below the 2.12 euro per share Refinitiv estimate.

Bigger rival LafargeHolcim earlier this month forecast sales growing by between 3 and 5 percent in 2019, hoping demand for new housing fuelled by low interest rates will shield the construction industry from an economic downturn.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and David Holmes