euro adhoc: Wienerberger AG / Earnings / Preliminary Results for 2002 at Record Level (E)

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In 2002 Wienerberger AG returned to its former earnings power. Despite unfavorable conditions in the majority of our markets, earnings improved significantly in all operating areas - a trend that also continued into the fourth quarter. This earnings growth was the result of consequent restructuring in 2001, continuous optimization of processes in the operating companies, and several profitable growth projects.

Group revenues rose by 7% to EUR 1,654.3 million for the reporting year. Sales volume and price increases in Eastern Europe were contrasted with lower volumes in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Northern Europe. In the USA the weaker dollar and a minor volume decline led to a 5% drop in revenues. Bramac and Steinzeug recorded higher revenues, but revenues at Pipelife fell slightly because of a decrease in volume sales. Hanson Brick Continental Europe (Hanson BCE) contributed EUR 100.2 million to Group revenues from April to December.

Operating EBITDA for the Group (earnings before depreciation, interest, taxes and non-recurring items) reached EUR 300.7 million, for a 36% increase over the prior year. Brick activities in Germany showed the largest growth, supported by further cost optimization and a return to reasonable price levels. In Eastern Europe and Italy earnings rose above the high prior year figures. Austria and Switzerland also recorded a major improvement in earnings.

In the USA high capacity utilization following plant shutdowns in 2001 had a positive impact on earnings, despite the negative effect of the weaker dollar. The Pipelife, Steinzeug and Bramac joint ventures were able to record significantly higher profit. Hanson BCE contributed EUR 12.4 million to Group EBITDA. Excluding major acquisitions, organic EBITDA growth totaled 30%.

Operating EBIT (operating profit before interest and tax) more than doubled from EUR 66.2 to 150.9 million. Two core segments showed particularly outstanding results. In Western Europe EBIT turned from EUR -6.6 to +43.0 million, supported chiefly by higher earnings in Germany, and initial consolidation of Hanson BCE. In Central and Eastern Europe operating profit continued to improve in all countries, rising by a total of 63% to EUR 63.7 million.

The above operating results exclude non-recurring income and expenses. These items generated an additional net total of EUR 0.5 million in 2002. The restructuring and sale of real estate yielded a non-recurring gain of EUR 28.9 million. Unfavorable economic forecasts, in particular for the German construction industry, led to optimizations in the brick segment and an adjustment to the value of our Pipelife investment. Non-recurring expenses totaled EUR 28.4 million, whereby EUR 4.8 million represent actual expenses and EUR 23.6 million are non-recurring write-downs.

For 2002 Wienerberger had set a goal to earn operating EBIT of significantly more than EUR 100 million, and thereby approach the comparable record EUR 147 million recorded in 2000. We have surpassed this goal. Our success was made possible by the steady optimization of business operations, our strong market positions, and the rapid integration of Hanson BCE. Based on these good results, the Managing Board will recommend that the Annual General Meeting approve an increase in the dividend for 2002 from EUR 0.60 to 0.66 per share.

For further information and preliminary results by segments please refer to our press release at

Wienerberger AG
The Managing Board
Vienna, February 13, 2003

Further inquiry note:
Thomas Melzer
Public und Investor Relations
Tel.: +43(1)60192-463
Fax: +43(1)60192-466
Tel: 0160192-0
FAX: 0160192466

end of announcement euro adhoc

Emittent: Wienerberger AG
Wienerbergstrasse 11
AT-1100 Wien
Tel: 0160192-0
FAX: 0160192466
ISIN: AT0000831706
WKN: 083170
Indizes: ATX, ATX Prime, WBI
Börsen: official dealing Wiener Börse AG
Branche: Building materials
Sprache: Englisch