Titan's turnover rose by 20.7 per cent in 2015 to EUR1397.8m and EBITDA improved by 19.2 per cent to EUR216.4m. Following an 24.4 per cent increase in the depreciation and impairment charge to EUR130.7m. boosted by a EUR11.6m impairment charge in the USA, the trading profit declined by 3.2 per cent to EUR108.9m.
The net financial charge was 1.7 per cent higher at EUR66.8m while the foreign exchange gain was 43.9 per cent lower at EUR17.4m in the previous year. The pr-tax profit was 10 per cent lower at EUR42.1m. Helped by a 61.3 per cent reduction in the tax charge, the net attributable profit did improve by 9.4 per cent to EUR33.8m.
Capital expenditure was again more than doubled and jumped from EUR82m to EUR173m, of which the USA accounted for 52.6 per cent and Egypt being the second largest area of spending.
Net debt at the end of December was 14.9 per cent higher at EUR621m, to give a gearing level of 39.3 per cent compared with the 35.9 per cent shown a year earlier.
US shipments drive volume growth
Group sales of cementitious materials improved by 3.1 per cent to 16.5Mt, largely because of the improvement in US volumes. Sales of aggregates were one per cent lower as the drop in Greece more than offset by the improvement in the USA.
Titan's Greek and western European turnover declined by 5.7 per cent to EUR284.9m, but improved by 22.4 per cent to EUR44.8m. Greek domestic cement sales resumed their downward trend after a break in the previous, with the third quarter being particulary bad with a 30 per cent drop, taking consumption back to a level last seen in 1962. Export volumes remained at a high level and represented some 75 per cent of the production, with prices boosted by a stronger dollar and an improved geographical mix. A change in the allocation of central expenses also benefitted the Greek operations by around EUR7m. The drop in Greek construction activity also had a negative effect on the sales of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete.
Turnover in southeastern Europe was a marginal 0.4 per cent ahead at EUR208.5m, but EBITDA fell by 17.2 per cent to EUR55.8m with profitability being hit by lower prices, increased fuel taxed and the re-allocation of head office expenses. Profitability continued to improve in the final quarter after a, weather-related, very poor start to the year. Capacity utilisation in the region remains the lowest in the group at only around 50 per cent.
Turnover in the United States increased by 45 per cent to EUR679.8m, boosted by the strength of the US with the dollar increase being some 19 per cent. EBITDA recovered further and jumped from EUR46.5m to EUR100.8m, while the increase in US dollar terms was limited to, a still considerable, 77 per cent. With the exception of fly-ash, volumes increased in all products and regions. In Florida the strong demand continued and the state now accounts for more than half of Titan America’s turnover. Capital investment was higher a EUR91m as money was spent to capture market growth and to streamline the operations. However, there was a EUR12.4m impairment charge related to the halting of the investment in a new cement works in North Carolina.
The eastern Mediterranean region is now restricted to Egypt and the Egyptian turnover contribution rose by 22.3 per cent to EUR240.7m, but EBITDA dropped by 51.6 per cent to EUR15m, with pricing being under pressure. There was a substantial recovery in volumes, helped by the coming fully on stream of the first coal mill at the start of the year. Petcoke has become the principal fuel at Beni Suef, with a second coal mill coming on stream this month and the Alexandria mill towards the end of the calendar year.
The Turkish joint venture Adocim, which is not consolidated under current rules, increased turnover by six per cent to EUR87.6m and EBITDA amounted to EUR23.5m.