Cemex’ volumes ahead, but so is the gearing level

Cemex’ volumes ahead, but so is the gearing level
Published: 27 October 2011

During the first nine months of the year, Cemex’s turnover improved 8.1% to US$11,436.7m, but the EBITDA was off 1.9% to US$1793.7m. The underlying trading profit was down by some 4% to US$737.3m, while the net interest charge rose by 11.2% to US$1,047.4m. After taking losses on financial instruments and other non-trading items into account, the pre-tax loss jumped by 113.2% to US$1,186.3m, while the net attributable loss emerged 92.1% higher at US$1415.9m.

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 ago at US$238m. 

Mexico accounted for 23.3% of the turnover, while the Mexican share of the EBITDA was 45.8% compared with 47.3% a year earlier. Northern Europe accounted for 31.8% of turnover and for 17.3% of 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 20.0% 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 nine month period improved by 1.9% to 50.48Mt and aggregates deliveries by 1.0% to 120.98Mt, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries showed a more marked increase with a 7.8% advance to 40.95Mm³.

Net sales increased by 5% during the third quarter of 2011 to approximately US$3.9bn versus the comparable period in 2010. Operating EBITDA increased by 1% during the third quarter of 2011 to US$658m versus the same period in 2010.

The increase in consolidated net sales was due to higher sales mainly from its operations in Northern Europe, South/Central America and the Caribbean, and the United States. The infrastructure and residential sectors were the main drivers of demand in most of its markets.

Fernando A González, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, said: “This is the fourth consecutive quarter of top-line growth in our results. We also saw stable consolidated pricing on a quarter-on-quarter basis in local-currency terms. We are particularly pleased with the quarterly performance of our operations in the Northern Europe and the South, Central American and Caribbean regions.

“We have raised US$80m in asset sales during the first nine months of this year and expect to raise an additional US$100 to US$200m during the fourth quarter. We estimate total proceeds from asset sales will reach US$1bn by the end of 2012.

We also continue to be confident in our ability to meet all of our financial obligations. We have also prepaid all of maturities under our Financial Agreement until December 2013 and proactively bolstered our liquidity needs.”