Outlook: Titan Cement Q1 net down 21 per cent on weaker US

Outlook: Titan Cement Q1 net down 21 per cent on weaker US
Published: 06 May 2008

Greece’s Titan Cement Company SA. 2008 first-quarter group net profit is estimated to fall 21 per cent YoY to EUR40m when it announces its results Tuesday, on weaker US and Greek operations and rising input costs, according to analysts.
In a Thomson Financial News consensus poll of four leading analysts first-quarter group net profits are seen coming in between EUR36m and EUR43.7m, from EUR50.7m for the first quarter of 2007.
Marfin Analysis analyst, Konstatinos Zouzoulas, said: ’This is a challenging quarter for Titan given US markets weakness, and probable deceleration of demand in Greece, as well as the impact of increased energy costs’.
But the analysts said: ’In any case, the first quarter is not representative of the full year performance and in the second quarter its newly acquired Turkish plant is likely to be consolidated’.
Joanna Telioudi, head of analysis at HSBC Pantelakis Securities, said in a note to clients she expected Titan to release a weak set of results, mirroring continued headwinds in the United States, compounded by U.S. dollar softness and high input costs like energy and freight, as well as sharply higher interest expenses.
Telioudi underlined that U.S. operations are affected by the poor housing market and lower profitability, given the cessation of rock mining activities in the Lake Belt district of Florida since mid-July 2007.
The head of analysis also said that Greek and southeast European operations face a tough comparative to the first quarter of 2007, and furthermore political unrest in the Republic of Macedonia may have held back cement consumption.