European Utilities Correspondent
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Mar 14, 2013

HeidelbergCement upbeat on 2013, expands in Australia

FRANKFURT, March 14 (Reuters) – HeidelbergCement
said on Thursday it expected operating income to grow this year
due to stronger demand from North America, Asia and Africa.

The German cement company also said it would double its
stake in an Australian cement maker to 50 percent as it expects
rising demand from the region will boost profits in 2013.

Mar 13, 2013

Bilfinger eyes rival Hochtief’s services business

MANNHEIM, Germany, March 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s Bilfinger
will look closely at a rival facility and energy
management business that Hochtief plans to sell as it
seeks to tap a growing market in making buildings more energy
efficient, Bilfinger’s chief executive said.

Bilfinger is seeking to benefit from a European Union drive
to curb carbon dioxide emissions and help build offshore
windparks, modernise and revamp power plants and cut energy use
in buildings.

Mar 12, 2013

Fraport expects zero passenger growth at Frankfurt hub

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) – German airport operator
Fraport predicted zero growth in passenger numbers at
its main Frankfurt hub this year and lower net profit as a weak
economic climate prompts airlines to reduce capacity.

Fraport, whose biggest customer is German flagship carrier
Lufthansa, said on Tuesday net profit would shrink
this year from the 238 million euros ($310 million) reported for
2012.

Mar 12, 2013

Fraport profit tops forecasts on Frankfurt growth

FRANKFURT, Nov 6 (Reuters) – German airport operator Fraport
earned more than expected in the third quarter and
predicted three years of rising profits supported by a fourth
runway at its Frankfurt airport which has increased passenger
numbers and air traffic.

Fraport makes more than a third of its operating earnings
from retail outlets at Frankfurt and sales of surplus land. It
has expanded one of its two terminals there to tap passenger
growth after the fourth runway opened in 2011.

Mar 7, 2013

Lanxess profit disappoints on weak car industry

FRANKFURT, March 7 (Reuters) – Lanxess, the
world’s largest synthetic-rubber maker, reported disappointing
net profit for the final quarter of 2012 and warned that
underlying demand remained weak across most of its businesses so
far this year.

Lanxess relies on the automotive industry for 40 percent of
its business and warned in November that it expected to reach
the lower end of its forecast range for 2012 core profit growth
as the European car market nears a 20-year low.

Mar 1, 2013

Germans climb onto property ladder to combat financial crisis

LONDON/FRANKFURT, March 1 (Reuters) – After 20 years
advising other people on property deals, Berlin-based lawyer
Elke Springer did her own last year. Having rented all her life,
she bought a house.

A growing number of Germans are doing the same in the wake
of the financial crisis.

Feb 13, 2013

New TUI AG boss to act on underperforming units

FRANKFURT/HANOVER, Germany, Feb 13 (Reuters) – German travel
and tourism group TUI AG’s new CEO, lumbered with a
22 percent stake in loss-making shipping group Hapag-Lloyd
, said he would have little patience with
underperforming businesses.

“I have always followed the strategy to work on the
strengths of the company and not waste too much time trying to
improve weaknesses,” Friedrich Joussen said at TUI’s annual
shareholder meeting, at which he took over as chief executive.

Feb 11, 2013

Bilfinger sees profits up as shift to services pays off

FRANKFURT, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s Bilfinger
predicted a rise in underlying earnings this year, and lifted
its dividend for 2012, as its shift away from volatile
construction markets towards more stable building services
activities pays off.

The firm, which maintains, modernises and operates
buildings, industrial plants and power stations, is benefiting
from booming oil and gas industries as well as a trend in less
robustly performing sectors to outsource in a bid to save money.

Feb 7, 2013

HeidelbergCement sees scope for price rises in 2013

FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) – HeidelbergCement
expects to be able to raise prices this year following a pick-up
in demand in some of its markets in Asia, Africa and north
America, it said on Thursday, after reporting a near 11 percent
rise in quarterly profits.

The German company also said it aimed to step up its
cost-cutting programme to save an extra 150 million euros this
year, which will bring its target for cutting annual costs over
the three years ending 2013 to 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

Jan 18, 2013

Bilfinger buys US water firm in drive for new customers

FRANKFURT, Jan 18 (Reuters) – German group Bilfinger
, which has shifted to servicing industrial plants from
construction, will buy water technology company Johnson Screens
for around 100 million euros ($134 million) to access customers
in the United States and Australia.

Finance chief Joachim Mueller did not give the exact price
of the transaction but said it represented 8-9 times earnings
before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) of the company.