Titan: weaker US third quarter offset by strength in Greece and Bulgaria

Titan: weaker US third quarter offset by strength in Greece and Bulgaria
Published: 01 November 2006

Titan produced a 19.5% increase in turnover to EUR 1188.2m in first nine months of 2006, with the operating profit at the EBITDA level advancing by 29.9% to EUR 370.1m.  Cement sales in the period rose by 5.5% to 12.17Mt, with aggregates shipments rising by 15.7% to 17.59Mt and ready-mixed concrete volume by 9.1% to 4.54Mm³.  Net debt at the end of the period was down to EUR 392m to a give very modest gearing level of 37.3%, though capital expenditure in the first nine months amounted to around EUR 190m.
 
The Greek market has continued to exceed expectations and export prices have improved by around 20%. Housing has been the main driver of growth, helped by an expanding mortgage market, and the market is set to remain positive for the remainder of the year.  Turnover increased by 13.9% to EUR 441.8m and the EBITDA advanced by 21.9% to EUR 147.1m. In south eastern Europe, Bulgaria has been the main driver of growth and area turnover rose by 15.9% to EUR 139.4m with the EBITDA jumping by 42.1% to EUR 55.4m.  Clinker had to be imported into Bulgaria to keep up with demand prior to the increased kiln capacity coming on stream next spring and additional milling capacity will be following later in the year.  Cement sales advanced in Macedonia, though at a more modest pace, while the difficulty in passing on higher costs led to a fall in profitability in Serbia.