CEMEX Provides Guidance for the Third Quarter of 2007

CEMEX Provides Guidance for the Third Quarter of 2007
Published: 17 September 2007

CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending September 30, 2007 to be about US$1,350 million, an increase of about 22% versus the same period last year, while operating income is expected to be about US$950 million, 16% higher than the same period a year ago. Guidance for operating income excludes potential adjustments due to the revaluation of Rinker’s assets. CEMEX expects sales in excess of US$6.0 billion, an increase of around 29% versus the same period a year ago. For the first nine months of the year, CEMEX expects EBITDA of about US$3,350 million, while revenue is expected at about US$15.2 billion, a growth of approximately 7% and 13% respectively. These results include the effect of consolidating the Rinker group starting July 1, 2007.

"We continue to see underlying strength and favorable supply-demand dynamics in most of our markets, but at the same time we recognize that the correction and the timing for the eventual recovery of the residential sector in the United States continues to be uncertain. The underperformance in our operations in the United States has been partially mitigated by a better-than-expected performance in other regions, including South / Central America and the Caribbean, Africa and Middle East, Rest of Europe, and Asia,” said Rodrigo Treviño, CEMEX’s Chief Financial Officer.

"Additionally, this quarter marks the consolidation of Rinker into our operations. Rinker will significantly benefit our geographic and product mix, as well as enhance our position as one of the largest building material companies in the world. We look forward to fully integrating Rinker into our operations as soon as possible and well within the timeframe originally expected. We will continue to apply most of our free cash flow to reduce debt and we remain committed to our steady-state net-debt-to-EBITDA capital structure target of 2.4 times. On balance, we continue to be cautiously optimistic.

For 2007 we expect to deliver EBITDA of close to US$4.8 billion. These numbers include the consolidation of Rinker for the second half of the year but exclude the effects of asset disposals.” During the third quarter, CEMEX expects domestic cement and ready-mix sales volumes in Mexico to increase about 4% and 9%, respectively, versus the same period last year. For the first nine months of the year, cement and ready-mix volumes are expected to increase about 4% and 10%, respectively, versus the same period of last year.

The main drivers of demand in Mexico continue to be a strong formal residential sector as well as healthy demand from the infrastructure sector. Given this performance in volumes for the first nine months of the year, we continue to expect domestic cement volume in Mexico to grow in excess of 4% for the full year 2007. Cement, ready-mix and aggregates volumes for CEMEX’s operations in the United States are expected to decrease 2%, increase 53% and increase 173%, respectively during the third quarter, versus the same period last year. For the first nine months of 2007, cement volumes are expected to decrease about 10%, ready-mix volumes are expected to increase about 1% and aggregates volumes are expected to increase about 46% versus the same period in 2006. These results include the effect of the Rinker operations as of the third quarter 2007. On a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations, cement volumes would have decreased 19% for the quarter and 18% for the first nine months versus the same periods last year. Ready-mix volumes would have decreased 20% for the quarter and 21% for the first nine months versus the same period in 2006.

Aggregate volumes would have decreased 11% for the quarter and 12% for the first nine months versus the comparable period last year. For the full year and on a like-to-like basis, we expect cement volumes to decrease by about 14% versus the same period last year. Cement volumes continue to be driven by the industrial-and-commercial and public sectors. The duration of the ongoing correction and the timing of the recovery in the residential sector in the United States continue to be uncertain. Cement and ready-mix volumes for CEMEX’s operations in Spain, are expected to decrease by about 6% and 3%, respectively, during the third quarter versus the comparable period of last year. For the first nine months of the year, cement volumes are expected to decrease about 4% and ready-mix volumes are expected to decrease about 3% versus the same period in 2006. The end of major infrastructure projects in many regions of the country, as local and municipal elections concluded, has affected volumes during the quarter. Additionally, the residential sector is experiencing a deceleration from high growth levels experienced in recent years.

Given the performance in cement volumes for the first nine months of the year, we now expect cement volume in Spain to decline by about 3% for the full year 2007. In our operations in the United Kingdom, cement volumes for the third quarter are expected to increase by about 18% versus the same quarter last year. Ready-mix volumes are expected to increase by about 3% during the third quarter versus the comparable period of 2006. Aggregate volumes are expected to increase by about 2% for the third quarter versus the same period in 2006. For the first nine months of 2007, cement volumes are expected to increase by about 14%, ready-mix volumes are expected to decrease by about 2% and aggregate volumes are expected to increase about 1% versus the same period in 2006.

Demand in the United Kingdom continues to be driven by the public housing, commercial and industrial sectors. We continue to expect cement volumes for the year to increase by around 7%. The weaker-than-expected performance in the United States and Spain has been partially offset by the stronger-than-expected performance from the rest of the world, as evidenced by the 6% growth in domestic cement volumes for the quarter, and 10% growth for the first nine months of the year versus the comparable periods in 2006. In the aggregate, these markets outside the United States and Spain, account for more than half of our global domestic cement volumes and consolidated EBITDA. The primary contributors to this growth have been Venezuela, Colombia, Poland, Croatia, and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom, Egypt, the Philippines, and Mexico. Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of September 14, 2007.