Cemex income skyrockets 1Q to US$311m

Cemex income skyrockets 1Q to US$311m
Published: 23 April 2004

Cemex has reported a US$311m in net income for the first quarter this year, a 282 per cent increase YoY thanks to stronger operating performance and improved foreign exchange results, it said in a statement.

"The expansion of the global economy led to increased cement and ready mix demand in most of our markets," the company said. "Public spending on infrastructure and housing continues to be the main drivers of cement demand in our markets."

During the first quarter, Ebitda was up 24 per cent to US$557mn, consolidated net sales grew 13 per cent to US$1.8bn, operating income increased 31 per cent to US$393mn and net debt fell 13 per cent to US$5.4bn, Cemex said. Sales volumes for cement grew six per cent to 15.7Mt and ready-mix shipments jumped 11 per cent to 5.6Mm3.

Results exceeded a company forecast published last month, which anticipated US$535mn in Ebitda, US$1.7bn in sales revenue and US$380mn in operating income.

Sales and Ebitda showed increases in the company’s Latin American markets as well. In Cemex’ hometown of Mexico, public spending in infrastructure and housing stayed strong, while the self-construction industry showed "moderate" growth. As such, net sales were up 10 per cent to US$697m and Ebitda grew 13 per cent to US$316m.

And compared to 1Q03 when a general strike was crippling Venezuela’s economy, 1Q04 was strong there with a 48% growth in sales to US$75mn and a 46 per cent increase in Ebitda, which touched US$31mn.

In neighboring Colombia, net sales were up 24 per cent to US$57mn and Ebitda grew 27 per cent to US$34m. Though spending on infrastructure fell off after "many" projects wrapped up there last year, the private sector plus self-construction and residential markets powered demand first quarter. Central American and Caribbean sales increased 8% to US$156mn and Ebitda jumped 38 per cent to US$47m, though sales volumes declined slightly.