HeidelbergCement keeps 2021 outlook after strong Q1

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of HeidelbergCement is pictured at their headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, June 21, 2016. Picture taken June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -HeidelbergCement, the world’s second-largest cement maker, on Wednesday kept its outlook for slightly higher sales and core profit in 2021, supported by stimulus programmes around the world it says will boost construction activity.

“The very good first quarter confirms our optimistic outlook for 2021,” Chief Executive Dominik von Achten said. “We expect continued strong demand in private residential construction and infrastructure in all regions.”

Stimulus programmes launched by governments to help the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis were likely to have a positive impact on construction and sales in the short and medium term, he said.

HeidelbergCement (DE:) also made progress with its asset disposal programme by selling its aggregates business and two ready-mixed concrete plants in Greece to Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim, its biggest rival.

This deal followed the sale of its 51% stake in cement and ready-mixed concrete company Hilal Cement and is part of a plan to dispose of five assets announced earlier this year.

The group last month reported preliminary results for the first quarter, with sales up 1% and core earnings up a third as the construction industry recovers from subdued activity due to the pandemic.

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