Titan Cement nine month net seen flat as Balkans help offset weaker US ops

Titan Cement nine month net seen flat as Balkans help offset weaker US ops
Published: 29 October 2007

Titan Cement’s nine-month group net profit is seen coming in flat at EUR212m, when it announces its results on Wednesday, Oct 31, with a weak US housing market and a weaker US dollar offset by consolidation of new acquisitions and the strength of Balkan operations, analysts said.

In a consensus poll taken by Thomson Financial News of five leading analysts, nine-month group net profits are seen coming in between a forecast range of EUR203m to EUR216m, from EUR213.5m in the same time last year.

The head of analysis at HSBC Pantelakis Securities, Joanna Telioudi, said in a note to clients that she expects a weak set of results due largely to the protracted decline in the US residential market, particularly pronounced in Florida, a sharp depreciation of the usd compared to the eur, and the cessation of rock mining activities in the Lake Belt region in South Florida.

But Eurobank Securities analyst Kostas Karagiorgos explained that ’this years acquisitions will offset a large part of the negative impact of the slowdown in the US housing industry. Titan bought a ready mix cement company in Carolina and a quarry mine in Kentucky’.

Marfin Analysis broker Kostas Zouzoulas agreed and added that ’Balkan operations and the recent significant acquisitions in the US are expected to partly counterbalance the expected negative trends in the US and Greece’.

Nine-month EBITDA is forecast to climb one per cent YoY to a consensus median of EUR370.5m, with forecasts ranging between EUR350m to EUR371m.