Cemex LatAm Holdings sees growing cement shipments in Colombia

Cemex LatAm Holdings sees growing cement shipments in Colombia
Published: 30 April 2014


Cemex Latin American Holdings' turnover increased by 10.3 per cent in first quarter of the year to US$422.8m, but the EBITDA was just 0.2 per cent ahead at US$141m. The increase at the trading level was 2.4 per cent to US$118.1m.

After a net interest charge 17 per cent lower at US$24.4m, the pretax profit did improve by 13.3 per cent to US$94.3m and the net attributable profit more than doubled to US$54.6m. Net debt at the end of March was 18.5 per cent lower than a year earlier at US$1234m, giving a gearing level of 91.2 per cent, down from 119.9 per cent a year earlier.

Shipments
Cement shipments in the quarter were 16.3 per cent higher at 1.97Mt, of which grey cement sales into the domestic markets accounted for 1.73Mt, or 88.2 per cent of the total. Aggregates sales rose 25.9 per cent higher at 1.95Mt, while the ready-mixed concrete deliveries increased by 15.7 per cent to 0.82Mm³.

Colombia
The Colombian turnover increased by 1  per cent to US$242.3m, but the increase in the EBITDA was more modest at 6.2 per cent to US$92.6m. Cement shipments rose by 34 per cent, while the aggregates volume advanced by 38 per cent and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 23 per cent. Prices, however, tended to weaken a bit. Government subsidies at the lower end of the market boosted housebuilding activity and infrastructure spending is continuing to boost cement demand.

Panama
In Panama, the turnover improved by 5.1 per cent to US$76.1m, but the EBITDA declined by 4.6 per cent to US$32.3m as the EBITDA margin came back to 42.5 per cent from the very high 46.8 per cent in the previous year. Cement shipments declined by 17 per cent but the dollar-denominated price rose by 16 per cent. Aggregates deliveries increased by 6 per cent at stable prices, while ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 7 per cent and prices were 2 per cent higher. The reduction in cement demand was attributable to lower shipments to the Panama Canal expansion project, while other demand was broadly stable.

Costa Rica
The Costa Rican turnover was 1.7 per cent higher at US$35.5m, but the EBITDA declined by 3.3 per cent to US$14.7m. Cement shipments improved by 14 per cent and the local currency price improved by 5 per cent, but in dollar terms there was a 2 per cent decline. In aggregates volumes declined by 11 per cent while prices moved in line with that of cement. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries fell by 17 per cent as some projects were completed, but prices did improve by 9 per cent in local currency and by 2 per cent in dollar terms. The increase in cement deliveries primarily reflected highway projects.

Elsewhere
In the remainder of the region turnover was 1.8 per cent lower at US$69.8m and the EBITDA declined by 2.6 per cent to US$18.94m. The cement volume was three per cent higher but average prices were slightly lower, particularly when converted into US dollars. Aggregates shipments were two per cent lower, with prices being slightly ahead, while in ready-mixed concrete volumes were also off by two per cent with prices showing slight improvements. Positive cement volumes in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador were partially offset by weaker Brazilian demand.