(Adds details, background)
* Sticks to 2013 outlook for flat sales, higher EBIT margin
* Dividend stable at 0.75 euros per share
* To cut plant capacity, reduce investment to 75 mln euros
VIENNA, March 8 Austrian fireproof materials
maker RHI stuck to its 2013 outlook on Friday but said
it would cut investment and production capacity due to lower
growth in Europe.
RHI reiterated it expected stable revenues this year after a
4 percent decline in 2012 and a higher operating profit margin
thanks to cost cuts and lower raw materials costs as it produced
more of these in house. It kept its dividend stable.
The company said it planned investments of about 75 million
euros ($98 million) this year, down from 168 million in 2012, a
quarter of which would be used for environmental investments.
"The expected lower growth rates in Europe require an
adjustment of capacities in order to ensure optimal utilisation
of the production plants. There, a plant concept is currently
being evaluated in the RHI group."
RHI, which makes products designed to resist heat and stress
in high-temperature industrial processes, generates about 60
percent of its sales from the steel sector, which is in decline
in Europe due to low industrial demand and high energy prices.
Fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell
22 percent to 33 million euros, below the 35 million average
estimate in a Reuters poll of six analysts. Sales fell 3 percent
to 463 million euros, better than the 446 million poll forecast.
($1 = 0.7644 euros)
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Mark Potter)