In the first nine months of 2015 Titan Group recorded an increase in sales and profitability, mainly due to the recovery of the construction sector in the US. Consolidated turnover reached €1,029.5m, posting an 18.9% increase compared to the same period in 2014. Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) increased by 12.6% reaching €165.2m. Net profit, after minority interests and the provision for taxes stood at €36.2m, compared to €30.5m during the same period the previous year.
In the third quarter of the year, the improvement in US profitability more than compensated for the declines recorded in the Group’s other geographical regions of activity. Group turnover grew by 17.1%, reaching €356.7m and EBIΤDA grew by 3.8% to reach €59.9m. Net profit, after minority interests and the provision for taxes were negatively impacted by foreign currency translation effects and stood at €12.0m, versus €27.6m in the third quarter of 2014, which included foreign currency gains of €21m.
Overall, nine month results have been favorably affected by the strengthening of the US Dollar versus the Euro.
|€ million||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||% Change||Nine months 2015||Nine Months 2014||% Change|
|Profit before tax||11.3||40.7||-72.20%||42.2||47.4||-10.9%|
|*after the provision for taxes and minority interests|
In Greece from July onwards, the climate of uncertainty, coupled with the severe lack of liquidity, led to a further drastic shrinkage of construction activity, from its already historic lows. Public works slowed to a virtual standstill, while private building activity reached an all-time low. It is telling that, according to most recent Eurostat data, investment in residential housing in Greece has shrunk from 10.8% of GDP in 2007 to 1% in 2014.
Despite maintaining export volumes at satisfactory levels, turnover for Greece and Western Europe for the quarter was 29% lower and EBITDA was 74% lower than the corresponding period the previous year. It is worth noting that Greek domestic cement sales accounted for roughly 5% of Group volumes.
In the nine months of 2015, turnover in Group region Greece and Western Europe declined by 7.1% and stood at €198.6m. EBIΤDA reached €31.4m, from €29.1m in the same period in 2014, since the improvement recorded in the first half of the year was reduced by the results of the third quarter.
In the US, the growth momentum in Group results accelerated. Performance reaped the benefits of the growth in consumption, the extensive investment program carried out by the Group in upstream and downstream activities, as well as the strengthening of the US Dollar. In total, turnover in the US for the nine months of 2015, posted a 43.7% increase and reached €496.5m, while EBITDA more than doubled to €71.1m, versus €31.7m in the same period the previous year.
Construction activity in the countries of Southeastern Europe did not record meaningful change, on average. Turnover in the nine months of 2015 declined by 2.8% and stood at €155.5m, while EBITDA reached €46.6m, posting a 12.5% decline.
In Egypt, cement demand recorded a slight increase. Our plants’ production capacity was recovered, thanks to the operation of one of two lines at the Beni Suef plant with solid fuels and the securing of sufficient, yet expensive, amounts of fuel for the other production lines. Nevertheless, the high cost of fuel, coupled with a softening in prices witnessed in the period, resulted in a further curtailment of profitability. Turnover in Egypt increased by 22.0% reaching €178.9m while EBITDA declined to €16.1m versus €32.5m in the nine months of 2014.
In Turkey, results at Adocim, in which Titan holds a 50% equity stake, were positive but lower than the previous year.
Capital expenditure for the Group in the nine months of 2015, excluding acquisitions and intangibles, reached €127m, significantly above the levels of recent years and higher than depreciation. The increase is mainly attributable to investments in activity expansion in the US and the securing of fuel sufficiency in Egypt.
Group net debt as at the end of September 2015 stood at €650m, €109m higher compared to year-end 2014, reflecting the increase in investments, the acquisition of the minority stake in Antea in Albania, seasonal variations, increased working capital requirements in growth markets, as well as foreign currency movements.
It is noted that in July 2015, despite the imposed bank holiday in Greece, the Group promptly executed the six-month bond coupon payments for both Group bonds and distributed dividends for 2014 as well as special reserves
OUTLOOK FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2015
Thanks to the geographic diversification of its activities, which facilitates the absorption of local stocks or setbacks, Titan expects an improvement in operating results in 2015. At the present time, the recovering US market is the Group’s motor of growth. In the nine months of 2015, Group region US represents 48% of Group sales and 43% of EBITDA.
The recovery of construction activity in the US continues. It is more pronounced in the residential and commercial segments, less so in infrastructure spending. Based on the market’s growth and the outlook for the coming years, the Group is investing to capture growth and to improve the efficiency of current operations.
In Egypt, demand for building materials is expected to continue growing, driven by both public and private investments. The Group is undertaking investments which will allow the operation of the plants with solid and alternative fuels so as to secure fuel self-sufficiency and improve the plants’ cost structure.
Construction activity in Southeastern Europe is expected to remain subdued, possibly settling at levels below those of the previous year. The region continues to be affected by the woes of neighbouring European and economic growth remains subdued countries which consequently dampens growth.
In Greece, demand is expected to remain at extremely low levels for the rest of the year. Addressing the challenging conditions it faces, the Group has undertaken a series of measures to ensure the unencumbered operation of the Group’s plants, while production output is currently almost exclusively channeled to exports.
PARENT COMPANY ΤΙΤΑΝ CEMENT S.A.
In the nine months of 2015, turnover at Titan Cement S.A. grew by 3.8% reaching €204.8m, while EBITDA reached €31.5m versus €22.6m the same period in 2014. Net profit for the nine months reached €0.4m versus €6.1m in the nine months of 2014, which included dividends amounting to €20m received from subsidiaries abroad.