Titan’s turnover declined by 10.6% to €683.7m in the first half, while the EBITDA was off by 16.1% to €161.1m and the pre-tax profit fell by 37.2% to €76.8m and the net attributable profit by 48.8% to €59.4m. Capital investments amounted to €106m and a further €4m were spent on acquisitions, mainly buying in minorities. Net debt at the end of June stood at €1027.9m to give a gearing of 71.9%. Group cement deliveries declined by some 11% to 7.6Mt, with only Egypt showing higher volumes.
The Greek and Western European operations saw turnover dip by 22.8% to €248.4m and the EBITDA dropped by 63.3% to €57.9m. Greek cement prices have been broadly stable, in spite of a volume decline that is expected to exceed 20% this year and import pressures from Turkey. An excess supply of unsold homes is depressing cement demand, as housebuilding is traditionally the main consumer of cement, while civil engineering demand is suffering from the poor state of public finances.
In the South Eastern European region, turnover fell by 27.4% to €98.1m and the EBITDA deteriorated by35.8% to €35.8m. Prices are still ahead, but by less than earlier in the year, with Turkish imports being a problem principally in Bulgaria. To allow for the reduction in demand, one kiln in Macedonia has been mothballed. Titan continues to build market share in Albania in anticipation of the opening of the new integrated works next spring. In Serbia, the remaining minority shareholders have been bought out.
The US turnover fell by 19.3% to €199.2m, while in local currency terms the drop was a more significant 30.0%. The EBITDA was off by 13.2% to €23.0m, which equates to a 24.7% drop in dollar terms. Cement pricing is under pressure in some of Titan’s markets. Cement consumption in Florida dropped by some 38% in the year to the end of June, one of the US state where the drop has been the most pronounced. Quarrying in the Lake Belt of Florida remains in limbo, with the timing of the issue of new permits still unknown.