View Comments
UK-WIENERBERGER-RESULTS:Wienerberger sees return to profit in 2014
Reuters A worker checks the quality of bricks at the Wienerberger Brick Factory in Dosthill, central England August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples

VIENNA (Reuters) - Wienerberger , the world's biggest brickmaker, said on Thursday a mild winter in Europe and cost cuts had allowed it to raise its core profit by 27 percent in the fourth quarter.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 56 million euros ($76.5 million), short of the average estimate of 60 million euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The Austrian company said it would hold its 2013 dividend steady at 0.12 euros per share despite making a loss of 8 million euros after tax for the year.

Wienerberger said it targeted a substantial rise in revenues, adjusted EBITDA of roughly 300 million euros and a net profit for 2014 as the new homes market in Europe should at least stabilise and a positive U.S. trend should continue.

Fourth-quarter revenues rose 3 percent to 629 million euros, in line with the Reuters poll average.

"We're leading the company back to sustainable profitability," Chief Executive Heimo Scheuch told journalists as the company emerges from a restructuring and nears the end of a cost-savings drive.

He said the first quarter of 2014 had started well compared with a weather-related tough first quarter of 2013, although January and February were low-activity months and it would take until March to have a clear picture of the quarter.

Swiss cement maker Holcim said on Wednesday it thought European construction markets had bottomed out, and JP Morgan lifted its view of the construction materials sector to "overweight" last month.

($1 = 0.7317 euros)

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, Editing by Michael Shields)