Titan's Florida business advances strongly

Titan's Florida business advances strongly
Published: 01 August 2014

Tagged Under: USA Results Greece Titan Cement Co 

Titan's first-half turnover improved by 3.9 per cent to EUR571.2m while the EBITDA was ahead by just 0.8 per cent to EUR89m. Following a 10.3 per cent reduction in the depreciation charge, the trading profit improved by 23.5 per cent to EUR35.9m.

After a net financial charge 11.9 per cent lower at EUR29.7m and other items, there was a pre-tax profit of EUR6.7m compared with a loss of EUR12.4m a year earlier. At the net attributable lever there was a EUR2.9m profit, compared with a loss of EUR21.8m. Capital investment was increased by 56.3 per cent to EUR28.7m, after several years of very low levels of spending and it is still only just over half of depreciation. Net debt at the end of June was 11.2 per cent below the level a year earlier at EUR490m, giving a gearing level of 35 per cent.

Group deliveries mixed performance
Group deliveries of cementitious materials declined by 4.7 per cent to 8.1Mt but aggregates shipments advanced by about 23 per cent to 7.3Mt and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 14.5 per cent to 1.88Mm³.  

Domestic deliveries improve from weak base
The Greek and Western European turnover rose by 21.6 per cent to EUR147.8m and the EBITDA advanced by 72 per cent to EUR16m and was not by any carbon credits as clinker production was running at a too high level to generate any.

Greek domestic deliveries have finally begun to recover and are expected to recover by around 10 per cent this year. This all comes from a restarting of public works and housebuilding remains extremely weak. Pricing in the domestic market remains under pressure.

The high level of capacity utilisation is entirely dependent on securing export contracts. In Greece, bad debt provisions now cover some 32 per cent of trade receivables compared with 27 per cent a year ago and 29 per cent the year before. 

Southeastern Europe recovery
In Southeastern Europe, turnover did recover by 3.4 per cent to EUR102.4m and the EBITDA improved by 30.2 per cent to EUR30.2m. With the exception of Albania, volumes increased in all countries where Titan has plants and pricing has improved. Economic growth in the region remains weak but the mild winter led to increased activity in the first quarter and the level of activity was broadly maintained in the second quarter.

Continued improvements in US
The United States continues to improve and turnover increased by a further 13.8 per cent to EUR220.1m in spite of a weaker dollar. The EBITDA staged a 77.7 per cent advance to EUR18.3m. Florida, where Titan as a strong presence, has reported a 27 per cent increase in cement consumption against a US average increase of 8 per cent, as the housebuilding market continues to improve. Prices in the state have been increased across the range of Titan's products and a second price increase in Florida of around US$7 was announced in July, following a similar increase in January.

Eastern Mediterranean decline
The Eastern Mediterranean operations, of which only Egypt remains consolidated following the change in accounting rules, saw turnover decline by 25.9 per cent to EUR100.8m and the EBITDA fell by 46.2 per cent to EUR24.5m. The reduced availability and further price increases for of gas has led to the investment of EUR30m to reduce the dependence on gas, of which EUR15m is being spent on two coal mills at Beni Suef. The Turkish joint venture, now treated as an associate, is enjoying good levels of demand and increased both turnover and profits.