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Greece: Titan Group has reported a net loss of Euro24.5m for 2012. In 2011 it reported a net profit after tax and minority interests of Euro11m. This is the first time Titan has posted a loss since 1994 according to Reuters data. The Greek cement producer attributed the loss to the collapse of building activity in Greece, as well as the slowdown in Southeastern European markets, which suffered the spill-over effects of the Eurozone crisis.
Titan posted an increase of turnover of 3.6% to Euro1.13bn in 2012 from Euro1.09bn in 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 19.8% to Euro196m from Euro244m.
By region, Titan estimates that demand for cement in Greece has fallen to below 25% of the levels recorded in 2006. Turnover fell by 11% to Euro240m and EBITDA fell by 9% to Euro32m. Exports doubled in 2012 though. In Southeastern Europe, turnover declined by 7% to Euro255m and EBITDA fell by 26% to Euro64m.
In the Eastern Mediterranean region, which comprises Egypt and Turkey, turnover increased by 7% to Euro296m. EBITDA fell by 26% to Euro94m. The Group noted that in 2012 'despite the prevailing political uncertainty' cement consumption reached new highs in Egypt. Operating margins, however, were adversely affected by the considerable increase in the cost of natural gas and electrical power. In the US activity in the construction sector increased. Turnover in the USA rose by 22% to Euro369m and EBITDA rose to Euro6m, from a Euro6m loss in 2011.
In its outlook for 2013 Titan expects 'another challenging year' with continued poor performance and scope for further decline in Greece and Southeastern Europe. The growing cost of production in Egypt due to political and economic issues is anticipated to negatively affect results. Conditions should remain positive in Turkey and the US.
Egypt: Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Eng. Hatem Saleh has said that the ministry is considering imposing of a levy on cement exports due to 'unjustifiable' increases in cement prices on the local market. In a press statement the Saleh added that cement prices had increased by 66% due to a 'remarkable' deficit in cement quantities.
Saleh pointed out that the 'exaggerated' price rises were 'inconsistent' with the recent increase of energy prices for cement plants imposed by the government. He said that the energy rise only represented up to 18% of the price increase seen. Saleh stressed that the Egyptian government will not ignore any manipulation of prices that add further burdens for consumers.
Chile: Chilean cement-and-concrete firm Melon reported a 15.6% rise in revenue to US$458m in 2012. The Grupo Brescia subsidiary saw its profits rise by 3.13% to US$9.19m despite high electricity costs. The cement sector in Chile grew by 11% in 2012.
Written by Global Cement staff
Wednesday 06 March 2013
India: UltraTech Cement announced on 1 March 2013 that it had temporarily shut down its 3.6Mt/yr Awarpur plant in Maharashtra due to workers' unrest. UltraTech reinforced that the closure would not substantially effect the company's financial performance.
Kenya: Bamburi Cement has posted a 15% drop in pretax profit to US$83.3m in 2012. The figure was hit by lower gains on its foreign currency holdings the Kenyan based Lafarge subsidiary reported to Reuters. Turnover rose by 4% to US$437m, but higher costs drove operating profit down by 14%.
"The group anticipates underlying cement demand to continue growing in the region despite a slow start in Kenya influenced by the election period, supported by improved political stability in the inland Africa export markets," said Bamburi in a statement.
The Kenyan Shilling was stable against the US Dollar during 2012, having weakened sharply in the previous period, thus accounting for the lower gains on foreign exchange holdings by the firm.