Cemex is predicting a turnover of some US$22,900m for 2008, an increase of 5.7%, but including Rinker for a full year, rather than six months. At the EBITDA level, the result is expected to at some 4% down at US$4,400m and will have included the Canary Islands, Austrian and Hungarian operations whose sales have been agreed. In the fourth quarter, the underlying turnover is expected to record a decline of approximately 10% on a turnover some 14% lower. However, because of asset disposals, the nationalisation in Venezuela and exchange rate effects the reported EBITDA will be down by some 27%.
The 2008 Mexican volumes are expected to be down by around 3% in cement and by some 6% in ready-mixed concrete, with increased spending on the infrastructure partially compensating for the reduction in building activity across the board. In the United States, Cemex is expecting cement shipments for 2008 to show a reduction of around 14%, which would represent an underlying fall of some 21%, adjusting for a full year’s inclusion of Rinker. In ready-mixed concrete, adjusting for Rinker and subsequent disposals, underlying volumes are expected to be off by around 30% compared with an actual decline in the order of 13%. Aggregates are envisaged to be down by approximately 3% in actual terms and by some 30% on an underlying.
In Spain, cement deliveries are expected to be off by approximately 30% and ready-mixed concrete deliveries are forecast to decline by 27%, as fourth quarter volumes dropped by close to 50%. The traditional comment on the British market has been dropped this time, presumably not to add even more gloom to an already depressing statement. Cement plant closures have already been announced in Germany and in Britain, with a new grinding plant at Tilbury in England coming in stream shortly, as well a an integrated cement works in Latvia, replacing a smaller, older works, there as well as some markets currently supplied from Germany.