VIENNA, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Austrian fireproof materials maker RHI AG reaffirmed its forecast for higher profitability in 2012 after its second-quarter operating profit rose 10.3 percent to 44.1 million euros ($54.7 million), easily beating market expectations.
Its margin on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 9.3 percent from 9.2 percent. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected operating profit to fall 2.8 percent to 38.9 million euros.
“Price increases in combination with a positive contribution to earnings from the initiated backwards integration projects as well as a higher share of industrial business should lead to a further increase in the EBIT margin in the second half of the year, which leads us to expect a higher EBIT margin in the entire year 2012 than in the previous financial year,” it said on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.8056 euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields)