Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC) of Mexico announced consolidated results for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.
In the first quarter of 2009, consolidated net sales rose 15.5% as a result of higher sales in the United States and Bolivia, and the Company generated positive free cash flow as compared to negative free cash flow in the first quarter of 2008.
First quarter 2009 sales rose 15.5% compared to the first quarter of 2008. Performance by market was as follows: United States +10.2%, Mexico - 2.5%, Bolivia +99.3%.
Sales in Bolivia registered 99.3% growth in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter of last year as a result of new public infrastructure projects, strong demand in the DIY segment, and greater activity in the commercial-industrial sectors.
In the United States, there was more severe winter weather in the first quarter of 2009 than in same period of 2008.
First quarter EBITDA was practically unchanged from the first quarter of 2008.
Free cash flow was $65.1 million pesos in the first quarter of the year, in comparison to negative free cash of $205.2 million pesos registered in the first quarter of 2008.
The depreciation of the peso against the dollar continues to have a mixed effect on the Company’s results. Nonetheless, due to the share of dollar-denominated sales in the revenue mix (approximately 60%), the depreciation of the peso will have a positive effect on the GCC results in the long term.