Costa Rica is the strongest performer in Cemex Latin American Holdings

Costa Rica is the strongest performer in Cemex Latin American Holdings
Published: 23 July 2015


Cemex Latin American Holdings' first-half turnover declined by 13.4 per cent to US$747.6m, while the EBITDA came off by 16.6 per cent to US$283.1m.

At the trading level there was an 18.6 per cent reduction to US$191.7m. After a net interest charge 14.8 per cent lower at US$40.6m, the pre-tax profit emerged 22.9 per cent lower at US$142m. The net attributable profit fell by 32 per cent to US$82.4m.

Net debt at the end of June was 8.6 per cent lower than a year earlier at US$1077m, giving a gearing level of 75.6 per cent compared with 81.2 per cent a year earlier.

Shipments
Cement shipments in the period were 7.9 per cent lower at 3.62Mt, while aggregates deliveries advanced by 5.4 per cent to 4.37Mt and the ready-mixed concrete volume rose by five per cent to 1.75Mm³.

Colombian turnover fell by 25.4 per cent to US$374.3m and EBITDA emerged 29.4 per cent lower at US$127.6m. Domestic grey cement deliveries declined by around 11 per cent, while aggregate volumes and ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by two per and four per cent, respectively. The average cement price edged ahead by one per cent in local currency but fell by 21 per cent in US dollar terms. Some of the market share that was lost during the first quarter as a result of the price increase was recovered during the second quarter.

In Panama, turnover improved by 1.5 per cent to US$150.9m but the EBITDA declined by 7.9 per cent to US$61.4m as the EBITDA margin declined further from 44.4 per cent to 40.7 per cent. Cement shipments increased by seven per cent even though the Panama Canal expansion project consumed 58 per cent less cement than during 2Q14. The average cement price improved by one per cent. Aggregates deliveries were 10 per cent higher and prices improved by three per cent. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries were very marginally lower, but prices eased by three per cent.

Costa Rican turnover was 17.7 per cent higher at US$89.5m and the EBITDA rose by 17.6 per cent to US$39.3m. Cement shipments improved by 11 per cent and the average price advanced by four per cent in local currency and five per cent when measured in US dollar. In aggregates, volumes jumped by some 38 and prices were stable in dollar terms. Ready-mixed concrete deliveries improved by 15 per cent while dollar prices eased by two per cent. Infrastructure investment remained the main driver of cement demand, notably roads and two hydroelectric projects.

The remainder of the region saw turnover ease by 1.3 per cent to US$141.3m and the EBITDA was one per cent per cent lower at US$39.7m. Cement shipments declined by seven per cent and the dollar price was off by two per cent. Aggregates shipments were two per cent higher and the average price rose by 16 per cent in dollar terms, while ready-mixed concrete volumes advanced by 21 per cent and prices improved by two per cent in US dollar terms. Cement volumes in Nicaragua continued to perform well, but weak market conditions prevailed in the other markets, though ready-mixed concrete volumes reached a historic record in the first half.

Full year LatAm expectations
For the full year, Cemex Latin America is expecting cement volumes to improve by around one per cent: by three per cent in Costa Rica, but declining by three per cent in Panama and being barley stable in Colombia. Aggregates volumes are forecast to advance by approximately 10 per cent, while ready-mixed concrete volumes should improve by about seven per cent.

Maintenance expenditure is expected to amount to around US$45m in 2015, while some US$190m is forecast to be spent on strategic investments.