UPDATE 1-Wienerberger Q1 turns negative on bad winter weather

* Q1 EBITDA loss 23 mln eur vs Reuters poll avg -15 mln eur

* Cold weather and snow add to chilly economic climate

* Sees residential construction recovering in US, UK

(Adds details, background)

VIENNA, May 4 (BestGrowthStock) – The world’s largest brickmaker
Wienerberger (WBSV.VI: ) turned to a core loss in the first
quarter as cold weather added to the chilly economic environment
and let residential construction collapse further.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) turned into a loss of 23 million euros ($30.63 million)
as revenue dropped 22 percent, Wienerberger said. Analysts
polled by Reuters had on average expected a 15 million euro
loss. [ID:nLDE63S26C]

The winter quarter, when most construction pauses, is always
by far the weakest for building companies. The snowiest European
winter in 20 years in Europe and the United States together with
the economic crisis made this winter exceptionally bad.

Wienerberger had already warned on March 24 that EBITDA
could turn negative. [ID:nWEB7017] The world’s No.2 cement maker
Holcim (HOLN.VX: ) earlier on Tuesday also reported a first
quarter loss as the bad weather weighed. [ID:nLDE6420OB]

“I assume we can’t fully make up for the weak business at
the start of the year,” Wienerberger Chief Executive Heimo
Scheuch said in a statement. He added that cost cuts and lower
energy costs would still mean profits would rise in 2010.

The average analyst estimate for Wienerberger’s 2010 EBITDA
is 274 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S,
after 209 million euros in 2009.

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($1=.7508 Euro)
(Reporting by Boris Groendahl; Editing by Hans Peters)

UPDATE 1-Wienerberger Q1 turns negative on bad winter weather