Wienerberger reduces its losses

Wienerberger AG, the world’s biggest producer of bricks, said today (Weds) it suffered losses of more than 13 million Euros in the first nine months of this year.The Vienna-based company announced losses of 13.5 million Euros between January and September 2010 following losses of 198.2 million Euros in the same period of the previous year.Its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) declined from 36.7 to 17.6 million Euros. Analysts had expected Wienerberger’s earnings to shrink by just 25 per cent year on year.Turnover declined by five per cent to 1.343 billion Euros, while the number of employees shrank by six per cent to 11,897.Firm chief Heimo Scheuch said the whole sector will be “confronted with a challenging market situation” next year. He explained the company would try to focus on customer satisfaction in times of state budget cuts and a fragile economy.Scheuch said Wienerberger did not have any tailwind in the third quarter of this year, adding that the situation in Central Europe remains tense due to little construction activity and poor demand for building material.The Wienerberger CEO said things were better in Northern and Western Europe, adding that demand in North America had been in decline recently.Wienerberger is quoted on the Vienna Stock Exchange’s (WBAG) prime market. It shut 31 factories and dismissed around 2,500 workers in various countries due to effects of the global economic downturn in 2009.