Mexican cement producer Cementos Mexicanos SA (Cemex) will invest $100m in Mexico in 2004, out of the company’s $400m worldwide investments planned for 2004, Cemex president and general director, Lorenzo Zambrano, said recently. The investments will finance production upgrades, cheaper energy use and boosting the company’s plants efficiency. Cemex does not project any enlargement and acquisition projects. The company will continue using its cash flow to cut debt and improve its financial profile.
For nine years, Cemex has been following a strategy of switching to cheaper energy sources. The company saved $120m from the switch to cheaper fuels in its world operations in 2003. In 2003, a total of 92 per cent of its plants used petroleum coke as fuel, which resulted in a 40 per cent cut in energy costs.
Cemex also targets a year-on-year rise in sales by between 10 per cent and 12 per cent for 2004. The company plans to raise its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by 20 per cent in 2004.