Cemex Latin American Holdings recovers in 2Q

Cemex Latin American Holdings recovers in 2Q
Published: 25 July 2013


Cemex Latin American Holdings' first-half turnover improved by 2.8 per cent to US$814m and the EBITDA rose by 12.2 per cent to US$306.4m. The increase at the trading level was a somewhat more modest 7.3 per cent to US$260.3m. After a net interest charge of US$58.8m, the pre-tax profit emerged at US$193.4m.

Net debt at the end of June stood at US$1411m, giving a gearing level of 103.9 per cent. Cement shipments in the period was 1.7 per cent lower at 3.62Mt, while aggregates deliveries were 0.9 per cent ahead at 3.38Mt and the ready-mixed concrete volume edged ahead by 0.3 per cent to 1.53Mm³.

Colombian turnover improved by 1.1 per cent to US$447m and the EBITDA advanced by eight per cent to US$190m. Domestic grey cement deliveries declined by some six per cent, while the aggregates volume was one per cent lower, but ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by five per cent. The use of alternative fuels continued to increase and reached 43 per cent in the second quarter. Improvements in the vehicle fleet and route optimisation led to in reduction in distribution costs. The average cement price improved by eight per cent in local currency. A new 0.5Mta grinding centre is set to come on-stream during the final quarter of this year.

In Panama, turnover was ahead by 1.3 per cent to US$154m and the EBITDA put on 8.8 per cent to US$74m as the EBITDA margin rose from 45 per cent to 48.4 per cent. Cement shipments improved by three per cent, with prices being stable. Aggregates deliveries recovered in the second quarter and ended the period two per cent ahead and prices improved by 11 per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by nine per cent, though prices did improve by seven per cent. Work on the widening of the Panama Canal continues to support demand, as do other infrastructure projects, though the hydro-electric project has now been completed.

The Costa Rican turnover was some 17 per cent higher at US$77m and the EBITDA advanced by 28 per cent to US$35m. Cement shipments improved by one per cent, thanks to a second half recovery. In aggregates, volumes declined by some eight per cent and prices were around three per cent lower in dollar terms. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries declined by 12 per cent, but dollar prices improved by 16 per cent.

The remainder of the region saw turnover increase by some three per cent to US$145m and the EBITDA was two per cent higher at US$41m. Cement shipments increased by 1 per cent, while the dollar price improved by two per cent. Aggregates shipments showed a strong 52 per cent volume advance and the average price improved by 15 per cent, while in ready-mixed concrete volumes declined by 2 per cent though prices improved by seven per cent in US dollar terms. Nicaragua continues to perform well, primarily on the back of infrastructure investments.

For the full year, Cemex Latin America is expecting cement volumes to increase by around four per cent,  by five per cent in Costa Rica, by four per cent in Panama and by three per cent in Colombia. Aggregates volumes are forecast to advance by approximately nine per cent, while ready-mixed concrete volumes should improve by about six per cent. Capital investment is proceeding in line with the planned spending this year of US$92m, of which US$54m is strategic and US$38m being maintenance expenditure.