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Titan: Cement Demand In Greece At 1960s Levels

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The accelerated decline of the Greek market has become Titan’s major concern, caused by the settling of building industry and the lack of infrastructure projects.

The group’s administration stated that the decline of domestic cement market reached 35% in the first quarter of 2011 and estimates that it would be hard to reverse this trend for the whole year. 

Cement demand shrank to 6.5 million tonnes in 2010, reaching the level of consumption recorded in the 1960s, according to Titan. The decrease of housing loans and income has lead to a sharp decline in construction activity. The 62.8% drop in building permits in January 2011 reflects the situation. 

In addition, the major cuts in public investment program and state’s inability to pay its debt have devitalized the public infrastructure projects, with the domestic cement industry reporting a fourth consecutive year of decline. Immediate measures and initiatives to support the market and the economy are needed, but nothing is seen on the horizon, said the company’s administration in a conference call with analysts.

According to market analysts, the cement industry is likely to lose market share in an effort to keep prices in Greece. The group’s exports to Libya have suffered a major blow by the conflict in the country.

In this context, the administration did not rule out measures to address the situation in the Greek market in order to adapt to existing production data. Finally, in terms of operating costs, the rise of solid and liquid fuels is expected to continue to weigh on the group’s results, despite the efforts to reduce energy consumption and use of alternative fuels.
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