During the third quarter of 2007, majority net income decreased 7% to US$780m from US$836m in the third quarter of 2006. The recognition of an extraordinary gain of close to US$100m from the sale of our stake in the Indonesian cement company Semen Gresik in the third quarter last year, as well as higher financial expenses in the quarter due to the Rinker acquisition, contributed to the decrease.
Net debt at the end of the third quarter was US$19.2bn, representing an increase of approximately US$15.1bn during the quarter, due to the Rinker acquisition. The net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio increased to 3.6 times from 1.0 time at the end of the second quarter of 2007. Interest coverage reached 6.9 times during the quarter, down from 8.3 times a year ago.
Net sales in Mexico increased 6% during the third quarter of 2007 to US$950m, compared with US$899m in the same period of 2006. EBITDA increased 3% to US$336m versus the same period of last year. Cement, ready-mix, and aggregates volumes increased 5%, 8% and 50%, respectively, during the quarter versus the same period last year.
Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of US$1.7bn in the third quarter of 2007, up 57% from the same period in 2006. EBITDA increased 25% to US$420m, from US$336m in the third quarter of 2006. Domestic cement volume decreased 1% versus the same quarter in 2006. Ready-mix and aggregates volumes increased 54% and 173%, respectively, versus the same period last year. These results include the impact of Rinker’s operations.
In Spain, net sales for the quarter were US$502m, up 16% from the third quarter of 2006, while EBITDA increased 12% to US$149m. Cement, ready-mix, and aggregates volumes decreased 6%, 5% and 3%, respectively, during the quarter compared with the third quarter of 2006.
United Kingdom operations experienced a 10% increase in net sales, to US$550m, when compared with the same quarter of 2006. EBITDA decreased 18% to US$34m in the third quarter from US$41m in the comparable period in 2006.