Titan recovers in the USA

Titan recovers in the USA
Published: 15 May 2013


Titan's first-quarter turnover showed a 7.8 per cent improvement to €243m while the EBITDA fell by 29.4 per cent, in line with the 29.3 per cent reduction seen this time last year, to €24.3m. The pre-tax loss rose by 33.5 per cent to €23.5m and the net attributable loss rose by 39.7 per cent to €27.1m.

Net debt at the end of March, however, declined by 20.1 per cent to €630m, giving a gearing level of 41.6 per cent, compared with 48.6 per cent a year earlier. Group cement shipments rose by some 12 per cent to 3.5Mt, while aggregates deliveries were 13 per cent higher at 2.7Mt. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries recovered by two per cent to 0.79Mm³.

Turnover in Greece and the rest of western Europe showed an 11.1 per cent recovery to €51.1m thanks to higher export volumes, while domestic Greek volumes and prices remained under pressure and eased, with downstream volumes also suffering. Pricing pressure and the absence of profit from the sale of emission rights hit profitability hard in the quarter and the EBITDA dropped from a €12.9m positive to a negative €2.8m. Exports are likely to continue to increase this year, while domestic consumption has hit such rock bottom levels that further volume declines are now likely to be limited. The principal export markets are currently North Africa and West Africa.

Turnover in the rest of South Eastern Europe recovered by 18.4 per cent to €32.2m as the winter weather was less harsh than in the previous year and there were also some exports, principally from the modern works in Albania. In spite of the higher turnover, EBITDA did decline by a further 29 per cent to €2.9m as there were no proceeds from the sale of emission rights in Bulgaria this time, though the underlying profitability improved in most of the countries in the region. Cement prices, which had fallen in the second half of last year, remained stable at the lower levels.

The US turnover improved by a further 11.9 per cent to €89.27m as demand for cement and concrete continued to recover, and the EBITDA turned positive for the first time in four years with a €0.5m contribution against a €1.5m loss this time last year. Cement consumption rose by 5.6 per cent during the quarter and prices have been increased across all product lines. The US housing market appears to have entered an upward phase and further growth in consumption is now expected for the remainder of this year and also for 2014.

Turnover in the Eastern Mediterranean area declined by 2.6 per cent to €70.6m, reflecting the weaker Egyptian pound and at constant exchange rates the area would have shown turnover growth of some eight per cent. EBITDA rose by 24.9 per cent to €23.6m, but the charge for profit sharing, which was taken in the first quarter last year, but will be taken in the second quarter this year does distort the numbers and amounted to €11m in 2012. Egyptian gas prices were increased by 50 per cent in February and cement prices were raised to take account of this. Some interruptions in gas supplies are believed to have negatively affected the amount of cement produced. The outlook for the Egyptian demand for the remainder of the year is rather uncertain. Turkey, on the other hand, represents a much more positive picture. Construction activity, which was badly affected by the weather last year, has shown good growth and both volumes and prices for cement have risen.