Greece’s Titan Cement H1 net seen up 11 per cent to EUR133.7m

Greece’s Titan Cement H1 net seen up 11 per cent to EUR133.7m
Published: 26 July 2007

Greece’s Titan Cement first-half net profit is seen rising 11 per cent to EUR133.7m YoY when it announces results today, boosted by robust southeast European operations.  
 
In a consensus poll taken by Thomson Financial News of six leading analysts, first half year group net profit forecasts range from EUR127m to EUR140m, from EUR120.3m from the same time last year.  
 
’The second quarter is expected to be another good quarter for Titan, both in terms of sales and profitability, boosted by strong organic growth from its Greek and the Balkan operations and the recent significant acquisitions in the US, Marfin Analysis-Egnatia Finance analyst Konstatinos Zouzoulas said.  
 
’On the other hand, the weak Florida market and the strong euro are expected put pressure on the interim numbers’.  
 
First-half EBITDA is forecast to rise 5.7 pct year on year to a consensus median of EUR226.9m with forecasts ranging between EUR219m to EUR242.5m.  
 
The head of analysis at Euroxx Securities Alex Voulougouris underlined that ’first quarter EBITDA for Greek operations was very strong and it is expected to normalise in the second quarter’.  
 
Kostas Karagiorgos, analyst at Eurobank Sec said US operations will be weak but all the other geographic regions will power ahead, especially Greece and Bulgaria. 
 
Analyst at Proton Bank, Panos Panagiotou, noted that ’south east European sales will benefit from the upgrade of the Bulgarian plant. But US demand will continue to decline even though the acquisition of two ready mix producers in America should partly offset this affect’.  
 
Six month group sales are seen 2.5 pct higher to a forecast median of 784.1 mln eur. 
 
P&K Securities analyst Kostas Dounas said ’I expect demand growth will slow in Greece in the second quarter onwards and I also expect that US operations will be affected by the slow down in the housing even though this will be partially offset by new acquisitions in America. However, I think that Balkan operations will show strong growth, chiefly in Bulgaria, and that Egyptian operation should remain solid’.  
 
Consensus forecasts for Titan’s second quarter group net profits, EBITDA and group sales are EUR83m, EUR138m and EUR442m respectively, from the second quarter of last year when they were EUR77.3m, EUR134.2m and EUR429.7m. 
 
Analyst Pantelis Voutirakis of Piraeus Securities said investors will focus on the conference call for new information on Floridas Lake Belt contingency plan, since it has been ordered to stop rock mining, affecting Titans Pennsuco quarry which supplies its plants in Florida.