Net profit at Greek cement producer Titan grew 19 per cent in 2005, at the top end of analysts’ forecasts, helped by strong foreign growth and a rebound in domestic construction in the last quarter.
Titan said on Thursday net profit rose to EUR210m. "In Greece, domestic cement sales showed an increase in the fourth quarter, and annual volumes ended with a modest decrease of four per cent," Titan said.
Titan, which has operations in the United States, Egypt, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as well as Greece, has expanded to southeast Europe in recent years to offset the slowdown at home after the end of the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Market conditions in the United States maintained their momentum, despite the adverse effect of hurricane Wilma in the fourth quarter.
"In a growing market, building material supply remained tight, resulting in a strong pricing environment," it said.
Providing guidance for the current year, Titan said it expects international operations to drive earnings, led by its U.S. activities. It sees no significant changes in Greece compared to 2005.
The group’s EBITDA rose by 22 per cent to EUR 389m, with sales up 17 per cent to EUR1.34bn.