During the first nine months of the year, Cemex managed to improve turnover by 8.1% to US$11,436.7m though the EBITDA came off by 1.9% to US$1793.7m. The underlying trading profit declined by about 4% to US$737.3m, while the net interest charge rose by 11.2% to US$1047.4m. After taking losses on financial instruments and other non-trading items into account, the pre-tax loss jumped by 113.2% to US$1186.3m, while the net attributable loss increased by 92.1% to US$1415.9m. The net debt at the end of September was 2.6% higher than a year earlier at US$17,719m, giving a gearing level of 114.8% at the end of September, compared with 107.2% a year earlier. Capital expenditure continues to be squeezed, with expenditure in the period being 7.4% lower that a year earlier at US$238m. The number of employees as the end of September was 4.3% lower at 44,870.
Mexico accounted for 23.3% of the turnover, while the Mexican share of the EBITDA was 45.8% compared with 47.3% a year ago. Northern Europe accounted for 31.8% of turnover and for 17.3% of the EBITDA, while the Mediterranean region represented 11.7% of turnover and 17.9% of the EBITDA. South & Central America produced 11.4% of the turnover and 20% of the EBITDA, while Asia contributed 3.3% of the turnover and a similar percentage of the EBITDA. The United States, finally, represented 16.1% of turnover and the EBITDA loss rose eight-fold to US$80.4m. Cement shipments in the period improved by 1.9% to 50.48Mt and aggregates deliveries by 1% to 120.98Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries showed a more meaningful increase with a 7.8% advance to 40.95Mm³.
The Mexican turnover improved by 5% to US$2661.4m, while the EBITDA was ahead by 2.2% to US$884.7m and the trading profit by 2.6% to US$774.4m. Domestic deliveries of grey cement were just 1% ahead and in the third quarter there was a 1% decline. Cement prices improved by 3% in local currency and by 9% in US dollars. The aggregates volume was advanced by 3% and domestic prices appreciated by 13%. Ready-mixed concrete shipments recovered by 13% and local currency prices were some 5% higher on average.
The US turnover declined by a further 4.2% to US$1838.6m and the EBITDA loss increased substantially to US$80.4m, compared with a US$8.8m loss a year earlier. At the trading level, the loss was 3.2% higher at US$496.3m. Cement deliveries fell by a further 4% in the nine months, but, like last year, did rise by 2% in the third quarter. Shipments of aggregates were off by 11%, compared with the modest 5% drop in the previous year, and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were down by 5%. While average prices eased by about 1% in grey cement, they did improve by 9% in aggregates and by 2% in ready-mixed concrete.
Cemex' Northern European turnover advanced by 18.5% to US$3632.6m and the EBITDA jumped by 50.4% to US$332.7m, while the trading profit shot up from US$21.3m to US$121.4m. Deliveries of grey cement recovered by 12% in the nine months, while aggregates shipments across the region recovered 6% and ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 12% ahead. Cement deliveries improved by 16% in Poland, 14% in Germany and 5% in Great Britain. In aggregates, volumes were up by 10% in both France and Germany, by 4% in Great Britain and 3% in Poland. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries jumped by 33% in Poland and were up by 12% in France and Britain and by 8% in Germany.
In the Mediterranean region, turnover was off by 2.5% to US$1336.6m, with the EBITDA declining by 15.7% to US$345m and the trading profit fell by 19.1% to US$265.1m. Regional cement deliveries declined by 7% and the average price was off by 3%. In Spain, cement shipments fell by 12%, but the average price was just 1% lower, while in Egypt volumes were off by 4% and local prices by 5%. In aggregates, regional volumes were 5% lower, but the average price improved by 5%. Spanish aggregates volumes fell by 17%, though prices improved by 4%. In Egypt, prices were also down by 17%, but prices suffered worse, dropping by 22% in local currency. In ready-mixed concrete, strong performances in Israel and the United Arab Emirates allowed shipments to rise by 4% in spite of volume reductions of 12% in Spain and of 19% in Egypt. Overall, average prices were little changed, in spite of price reductions in both Spain and Egypt.
The Cemex operations in South America, Central America and the Caribbean increased turnover by 20.4% to US$1297.8m, but the EBITDA was just 6.2% higher at US$385.6m and the trading profit was 7.1% ahead at US$319.3m. Cement volumes rose by 5% overall and prices were ahead by a similar percentage in local currency, or +7%, if measured in US dollars. Aggregates volumes were strong, rising by 40% on marginally weaker prices, while in ready-mixed concrete, volumes improved by 17% and prices by 5%. In Colombia, the biggest market, cement volumes were 2% ahead, while rising by 43% in aggregates and by 26% in ready-mixed concrete.
Asian turnover was off by 2.3% to US$381.4m but the EBITDA dropped by 38.5% to US$62.9m. Cement volumes declined by 6% across the region, and by 11% in the Philippines, which is the largest contributor. The average cement price was off by 7% in local currency terms, but by just 3% when converted into US dollars. In aggregates, volumes were down by 2% but prices improved by 5%, while in ready-mixed concrete, volumes were off by 1, though prices improved by 7%.