Titan Cement Q1 group net seen up 9.8% YOY

Titan Cement Q1 group net seen up 9.8% YOY
Published: 26 April 2007

Titan Cement 2007 first quarter group net profits are seen up 9.8 per cent YoY to EUR 47.2 m, when it announces its results under IFRS on May 3, on the back of robust sales in Greece and the Balkans, despite weaker US operations.  
In a consensus poll taken by Thomson Financial News of five leading analysts, first quarter group net profits are seen coming in between a forecast range of EUR45m to EUR48m, from EUR43m for the first quarter of last year.  
The head of analysis at Euroxx Securities, Alex Boulougouris, said: ’Titans results will benefit from strong Balkan and Greek operations because of the favourable weather conditions.’  
Boulougouris noted that ’the weather was unseasonably good in the first quarter so construction activity was robust, but US operations are expected to remain weak’. Several other brokers also echoed those sentiments.  
First quarter EBITDA is forecast to rise 9.9 per cent YoY to a consensus median of EUR89m, with forecasts ranging between EUR87m to EUR90.6m, from EUR81m for the first quarter of 2006.  
Analyst Kostantinos Zouzoulas of Marfin Analysis-Egnatia Finance said: ’EBITDA margins should benefit from local and Bulgarian operations even though a poor housing market in Florida will partially offset this.’  
Zouzoulas said: ’Another important factor is the strength of euro against the dollar this quarter, compared to 2006, so there will be a translation impact that suggests downside risk.  
’In 2006, 45 per cent of sales and about 40 per cent of EBITDA was derived from the US market so the FOREX affect may be substantial.’  
Group sales for the first quarter are seen rising 5.7 per cent YoY to a forecast median of EUR354m, with forecasts ranging between EUR343m to EUR367m, from EUR335m for the same time last year.