Cemex registered a 24% year-over-year gain in third-quarter net profit, beating analyst expectations with higher-than-anticipated sales growth.
Cemex, the world’s biggest supplier of ready-mix concrete and number three cement maker, said lthat net profit rose to $836m from $675m in the year-earlier period. That included an extraordinary gain of about $100m from the sale of its 24.9% stake in Indonesian conglomerate PT Semen Gresik in July.
Cemex’s 8% increase in consolidated sales to $4.65bn, with gains registered in most markets, also beat the company’s own revenue guidance of around $4.6bn.
The company reported a 10% increase in EBITDA, to $1.11bn. That also came in above guidance of $1.1bn.
Cemex said its consolidated cement volume increased 3% to 22.3Mt. However, consolidated ready-mix volume fell 6% to 19.1Mm3, with a similar drop in consolidated aggregates volume to 44.6Mt
In Mexico, government infrastructure spending continued to be a main source of demand. Domestic volumes rose 8% in cement and 21% in ready-mix.
In the US, volumes experienced declines of 6% in cement and 25% in ready-mix, driven mainly by a weaker residential sector. The U.K. also saw volumes decrease, by 8% in cement and 3% in ready-mix.
Free cash flow, which is EBITDA minus taxes and other cash expenses, rose 11% on the year to $816m.
Cemex also lowered its net debt by $976m in the quarter to $7.14bn, or 1.8 times 12-months’ EBITDA.