Cemex Latin American Holdings has a weaker first quarter

Cemex Latin American Holdings has a weaker first quarter
Published: 26 April 2013


Cemex Latin American Holdings reported a 2.5 per cent decline in first quarter turnover to US$383.3m, but the EBITDA did improve by 8.1 per cent to US$140.7m. The increase at the trading level was a more modest 1.9 per cent to US$117.5m. After a net interest charge of US$29.4m, the pre-tax profit emerged at US$83.2m.

Net debt at the end of March amounted to US$1514m, giving a gearing level of 119.9 per cent. Cement shipments in the quarter declined by 8.4 per cent to 1.69m, of which grey cement into the domestic market accounted for 1.51Mt, or 89 per cent of the total. Aggregates deliveries were 3.8 per cent lower at 1.55Mt, while the ready-mixed concrete volume also declined by 3.8 per cent to 0.71Mm³.

Performance by region

Colombia generated a turnover 3.2 per cent lower at US$209m, but the EBITDA improved by some four per cent to US$87m. Cement shipments declined by 15 per cent, while the aggregates volume was off by six per cent, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries did improve by two per cent. Some market share was lost as a result of price increases, but it is expected to regain the share lost during the remainder of the year.

In Panama, the turnover declined by six per cent to US$72m, but the EBITDA improved by four per cent to US$34m as the EBITDA margin rose from 42.7 per cent to 46.8 per cent. Cement shipments and prices both eased by one per cent. Demand continues to be supported by spending on the Panama Canal expansion and on the Panama City metro and the reduction in concrete deliveries primarily reflected the completion of a hydro-electric project.

The Costa Rica, turnover was seven per cent higher at US$35m and the EBITDA improved by 19 per cent to US$15m. Cement shipments declined by eight per cent, which is in part explained by fewer working days in the period.

In the remainder of the region turnover was little changed at US$71m, while the EBITDA eased by some three per cent to US$19m, the cement volume eased by two per cent, while the dollar price improved by a similar percentage. Aggregates shipments jumped by 61 per cent and the average price improved by 19 per cent, while in ready-mixed concrete volumes improved by three per cent and prices by four per cent in US dollar terms. Nicaragua again performed well on the back of clean energy investments in hydro and wind power and increased cement was supplied to Brazil.

Outlook

For the full year, Cemex Latin America is expecting cement volumes to increase by around four per cent; by five per cent in Panama and Costa Rica and by three per cent in Colombia. Aggregates volumes are forecast to advance by some nine per cent, while ready-mixed concrete volumes should improve by about six per cent. Capital investment for 2013 is planned at US$92m, of which US$54m is strategic and the remainder maintenance expenditure.