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HeidelbergCement sees higher sales, core profit in 2021

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of HeidelbergCement is pictured at their headquarters in Heidelberg
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - HeidelbergCement, the world's second-largest cement maker, expects sales and core profit to slightly rise this year on the back of infrastructure programmes launched around the world, it said on Thursday.

"The good start to the year confirms our optimistic outlook for 2021," Chief Executive Dominik von Achten said, echoing comments by larger rival LafargeHolcim which said last month that COVID-19 stimulus packages would boost construction.

HeidelbergCement, which released preliminary results in February, proposed a dividend of 2.20 euros ($2.63) per share for 2020, up from 0.60 euros for 2019 which was impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

According to analyst estimates collected by Refinitiv, sales are expected to rise 3.2% in 2021 to 18.17 billion euros, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation is forecast to be flat versus the 3.7 billion generated last year.

"Decisive for the actual extent of growth are ... the further development of the coronavirus pandemic and progress with vaccinations, as well as local economic development and the level of public and private investments," the company said.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Emma Thomasson)