* Proposes to pay FY dividend 0.60 eur/shr vs poll 0.91 shr
* Sees higher revenue, operating income this year
* FY net profit 945 mln eur vs Rtrs poll 957 mln
* To focus more on selling building products line
* Shares drop 3.2 percent, biggest Dax faller
(Adds analyst comments, detail, background, shares)
By Marilyn Gerlach
FRANKFURT, March 19 Germany's HeidelbergCement
missed 2013 net profit, dividend and debt forecasts,
dampening investors' hopes about its ability to take advantage
of an economic recovery in North America and Europe.
Shares in the world's third-largest cement maker by market
value fell 3.2 percent in early Wednesday trading, the biggest
decline on Germany's benchmark stock index.
HeidelbergCement said it expected revenue and operating
income to grow this year, before currency moves and accounting
changes, thanks to improving demand for building materials in
North America and western and northern Europe, which together
account for almost 50 percent of group revenue.
But analysts said it faced challenges in some emerging
markets such as Indonesia, where it lost market share last year
amid a weak rupiah, as well as India due to higher inflation.
"The outlook statement continued the cautious positivity of
recent years noting the positive macro-economy, but little
specific positivity to its businesses," Cantor Fitzgerald
analyst Ian Osburn said in a research note.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said the consensus
forecast for a 10 percent rise in adjusted earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation this year might
come down in the wake of the results and guidance.
With economic growth picking up in Europe and the United
States, construction firms are expecting to build more factories
and skyscrapers for offices, hotels and retailers, although
tight government budgets will likely continue to rein in
spending on roads, tunnels and railways.
French cement maker Lafarge has forecast the
cement market will expand 2-5 percent this year, led by North
America, the Middle East and Africa, with market conditions
stabilising in Europe.
Switzerland's Holcim, meanwhile, has warned of
slower growth in construction markets in Asia-Pacific and an
uncertain outlook in Latin America.
Analysts expect HeidelbergCement to raise prices in the
United States, possibly by about 5 percent, we well as in the UK
and Germany, which will be a test of the strength of the
recovery in those markets.
HeidelbergCement posted a 79 percent rise in 2013 net profit
to 945 million euros ($1.3 billion), missing the average
forecast of 957 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.
It proposed a dividend of 0.60 euro per share, below
expectations for 0.91 euros, and also missed a debt target after
spending 400 million euros on acquisitions and paying a cartel
fine of 161 million.
Net debt stood at 7.5 billion euros at end-December from
7.047 billion the year earlier, and the group's ratio of net
debt to operating income before depreciation (OIBD) rose to 3.1,
missing a target to cut it to below 2.8 by the end of 2013.
The company, which racked up debt via its $15 billion
acquisition of UK rival Hanson in 2007, is aiming to regain an
investment grade credit rating.
Chief Executive Bernd Scheifele said the company would focus
more intensively this year on selling its building products
business line in the UK and North America.
Scheifele told Reuters in October the firm planned to divest
the asset in a "dual track" process, in which it will examine
both a sale and a stock market flotation.
($1 = 0.7188 Euros)
(Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by John Stonestreet and