Titan’s turnover declined by 13.8% last year to €1,360.6m, as the continued weakness in the United States and Greece was made worse by the deterioration in Bulgaria and elsewhere South Eastern Europe. The EBITDA held up fairly well and was off by just 13.2% to €329.8m.
After a net financial charge that was 2.7% lower at €59.2m, the pre-tax profit fell by 24.7% to €158.1m. A return to a more normal tax rate left the net attributable profit 40.7% lower at €123.4m. Capital expenditure and acquisitions were well down at €187m compared with €673m in the previous year, while the net debt at the end of December was 12.8% lower at €971m giving a gearing level of 67.0%, compared with 79.8% a year earlier.
Group sales of cementitious materials declined by some 7% to 15.9Mt, while downstream volumes, dominated by the United States and Greece, fell more heavily, with shipments of aggregates being approximately 18% lower at 15.3Mt and ready-mixed deliveries dropping by around 28% to 3.9m m³.
As Greek cement consumption dropped below the 8m tonnes mark for the first time in more than a decade, Titan’s Greek and Western European turnover contracted by 20.3% to €504.3m.
Turnover in South Eastern Europe declined by 24.9% to €215.8m and the EBITDA fell by 30.0% to €73.7m, as lower levels of domestic demand were seen in all markets.
The US turnover fell by 24.4% last year to €365.9m and the EBITDA dropped by 39.9% to €25.7m as the continued weakness in demand led to price erosion.
The Eastern Mediterranean turnover jumped by 57.6% to €274.5m and the EBITDA advanced by 61.6% to €102.7m. The second production line at the Beni Suef works in Egypt started production last November. Egyptian cement demand remains strong and, in spite of the additional 1.5Mta of production capacity, clinker is still being imported by Titan to satisfy demand. Egyptian demand is expected to continue to grow this year, albeit at a more modest pace than during 2009. The Turkish joint venture continued to battle with price pressures in both domestic and export markets as a result of the excess production capacity in Turkey, though some recovery in demand is hoped for later this year.