Strong US prices help Cemex move ahead in first half

Strong US prices help Cemex move ahead in first half
Published: 27 July 2006

First half turnover at Cemex increased by 23.7.0% to US$8,595.3m, with a modest help form an additional two months of RMC, and the EBITDA grew by 21.9% to US$1,972.5m. The trading profit improved by 19.9% to US$1,424, while the net interest charge declined by 7.3% to US$224.5m and led to a running profit before tax 26.7% higher at US$1,200.5m.    Net debt at the end of the period was 15.6% lower at US$8,120m, which represents a gearing level of 69.9%.  Cement deliveries in the six months were 10.6% higher at 42.31, while ready-mixed concrete volume increased by 18.4% to 36.34m m³ and aggregates shipments were 15.6% ahead at 81.25m tonnes.  
 
Mexican turnover improved by 11.1% to US$1,668.7m but the advance at the EBITDA level was a more modest 6.7% to US$661.9m.  Domestic deliveries increased by some 8% while cement prices improved by around 5% in dollars but were stable in constant peso terms.  Ready-mixed concrete shipments advanced by 23% and the price improved by some 4%, while in aggregates volumes advanced by 9% and prices by an average 19%, or by 14% in constant currency terms.  Public sector civil engineering demand remains good and housebuilding activity is benefiting from good availability of mortgages.   
 
US turnover advanced by 19.6% to US$2,162.6m and the EBITDA moved ahead by 47.7% to US$613.6m. On a comparative basis, first half cement volumes advanced by some 6%, while prices, reflecting tightness of supply and higher costs, rose by approximately 16%.  Some weakening of housebuilding activity and wet weather in certain parts, led to a decline in underlying ready-mixed concrete deliveries of around 8%, with the second quarter being particularly weak, but the cost push still was present, with average prices rising by about 19%. In aggregates, comparative volumes were off by around 11%, but average prices shot up by 38%.