Uralita: EUR 41.9 million loss in line with forecast

Spanish construction materials manufacturer Uralita finished 2003 with the fulfillment of its restructuring objectives, which included losses of EUR 41.9 million. Thanks to the restructuring, the comp…

Spanish construction materials manufacturer Uralita finished 2003 with the fulfillment of its restructuring objectives, which included losses of EUR 41.9 million. Thanks to the restructuring, the company is forecasting a profit of EUR 42 million for 2004 and a return to dividend distribution. On 26 February 2004 company president Javier Serratosa presented Uralita“s results for 2003, a year which saw the sale of five non-strategic businesses, three more than forecast, a 12.8% reduction in the workforce, and the sale of real estate worth EUR 43.6 million. Serratosa noted that the losses of EUR 41.9 million are within estimates, as they include EUR 6.5 million anticipated for disinvestments. Uralita has reduced its net debt by EUR 74 million to EUR 451 million, which Serratosa said was a level of debt that should allow the company to return to investing from 2007, although if a business opportunity arose the company would act before that date. Serratosa said the construction business had made very good progress in the year, while the chemical side was doing badly after three years of market restraint. Uralita, which merged with chemical firm Aragonesas in 2003, has 60 plants, 23 of which are in Spain, and Serratosa noted that the business opportunities in Russia resulting from the growth in demand for insulation could make a new factory there a worthwhile addition to the two exisiting plants. In 2004 Uralita hopes to sell another EUR 20 million in real estate. Although Uralita still has companies which are not considered strategic in the business plan, these will not be sold off until the market price rises.