Titan’s 2010 turnover came off by 0.7% last year to €1,350.5m and the EBITDA declined by 5.5% to €314.4m. The net financial charge increased by 5.7% to €62.6m, leading to an 18.3% reduction in the pre-tax profit to €129.2m. However, this figure had been boosted by a €9.9m gain on the sale of emission rights in Greece and Bulgaria. A lower tax charge, but higher minorities left the net attributable profit own by 17.2% at €102.2m. With the completion of the investment projects in Egypt and Albania, capital expenditure dropped by 48.8% to €85.1m and the net debt at the end of December was 20.0% lower at €777m, giving a gearing level of 45.4%, compared with 67.0% a year earlier.
Group sales of cementitous materials were boosted by the additional capacities in Egypt and Albania, which more than made up for the weaknesses seen in other markets, and cement deliveries rose by 9.4% to 17.4Mt.
Greek cement consumption dropped further, leading to a lowering of margins as exports accounted for a greater portion of sales. Titan’s Greek and Western European turnover declined by 13.3% to €437.2m. A further significant drop in domestic deliveries is likely to be followed by a further reduction this year as the Greek government continues to cut expenditure and private sector investment is also in decline. Exports to Albania ended with the opening of the new works there and demand in the European Union export markets remained weak, leading to a 22.8% reduction in turnover to €33.8m.
Turnover in South Eastern Europe was boosted by the new Albanian plant and improved by 9.6% to €236.4m and the EBITDA rose by 17.3% to €86.8m, in spite of the weakness in Bulgaria resulting from the combination of lower construction activity and increased import pressure from Turkey, thought the Turkish import pressure lessened as the year went on. Some of the markets previously served from Greece are now served from the new Albanian works following the commissioning of the new 1.5Mta cement works. The Sharr works in Kosovo, which had been leaded by Titan was purchased last year.
The US turnover declined by a further 13.4% last year on top of the 24.4% drop in the previous year to €316.9m and the EBITDA collapsed by some 86% to €3.5m on the back of continued weak demand and price erosion. The Mid-Atlantic market is now showing signs of stabilising but the outlook for Florida remains bleak to say the least. Separation Technologies, on the other hand, continues to expand and to trade well. The situation in the Lake Belt area of Florida has been settled with the granting of a new 20-year extraction permit.
The Eastern Mediterranean turnover advanced by 31.2% to €360.0m thanks to a full year’s benefit of the second production line at the Beni Suef works in Egypt and a recovery in the Turkish market. EBITDA rose by 34.1% to €137.9m, displacing Greece at the main profit earner in the group, accounting for some 44% of the total. This has been in spite of higher kiln fuel and electricity costs in both countries. The expansion into ready-mixed concrete in both Egypt and Turkey has gone well to date and the Turkish cement joint venture is benefiting from the 15% rise in domestic cement demand last year.