Strong US prices help Cemex move ahead in first half

Strong US prices help Cemex move ahead in first half
27 July 2006

First half turnover at Cemex increased by 23.7.0% to US$8,595.3m, with a modest help form an additional two months of RMC, and the EBITDA grew by 21.9% to US$1,972.5m. The trading profit improved by 19.9% to US$1,424, while the net interest charge declined by 7.3% to US$224.5m and led to a running profit before tax 26.7% higher at US$1,200.5m.    Net debt at the end of the period was 15.6% lower at US$8,120m, which represents a gearing level of 69.9%.  Cement deliveries in the six months were 10.6% higher at 42.31, while ready-mixed concrete volume increased by 18.4% to 36.34m m³ and aggregates shipments were 15.6% ahead at 81.25m tonnes.  
Mexican turnover improved by 11.1% to US$1,668.7m but the advance at the EBITDA level was a more modest 6.7% to US$661.9m.  Domestic deliveries increased by some 8% while cement prices improved by around 5% in dollars but were stable in constant peso terms.  Ready-mixed concrete shipments advanced by 23% and the price improved by some 4%, while in aggregates volumes advanced by 9% and prices by an average 19%, or by 14% in constant currency terms.  Public sector civil engineering demand remains good and housebuilding activity is benefiting from good availability of mortgages.   
US turnover advanced by 19.6% to US$2,162.6m and the EBITDA moved ahead by 47.7% to US$613.6m. On a comparative basis, first half cement volumes advanced by some 6%, while prices, reflecting tightness of supply and higher costs, rose by approximately 16%.  Some weakening of housebuilding activity and wet weather in certain parts, led to a decline in underlying ready-mixed concrete deliveries of around 8%, with the second quarter being particularly weak, but the cost push still was present, with average prices rising by about 19%. In aggregates, comparative volumes were off by around 11%, but average prices shot up by 38%. 
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