In the first nine months 2008 Cemex produced a 12.1% advance in turnover to US$17,479.6m, helped by the inclusion of Rinker for the full period, compared with just three months last year. Margins have suffered and the EBITDA was up by a more modest 5.5% to US$3,610.0m and the higher interest costs and losses on foreign exchange and financial instruments led to a 42.9% drop in the pre-tax profit to US$1,245.8m. A lower minorities charge resulted in a 38.8% reduction in the net attributable profit to US$1,113.4m. The net debt, on the company’s definition, was 14.4% lower at US$16,393m to give a gearing level of 81.1%, with the proceeds from the Austrian and Hungarian disposals yet to be received. Profits were also boosted by the sale of emission rights in Europe, which contributed around US$116m in the third quarter, helped by the increased use of blended cement and lower production volumes in Spain.
The Mexican share of the EBITDA increased from 28.7% a year ago to 32.2%f EBITDA while Europe declined from 26.0% to 25.4% and the United States from 23.2% to 15.9%. Cement shipments for the nine months were down by 6.8% to 61.59m tonnes, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries were 1.4% higher at 59.60m m³, thanks to the Rinker effect, and the aggregates tonnage rose by 20.1% to 186.82m tonnes, again boosted by Rinker.