About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the fourth quarter of 2002
December 17, 2002
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending December 31, 2002 to reach approximately US$445 million, versus US$520 million for the fourth quarter of 2001, and cash earnings of about US$324 million during the quarter versus US$373 million for the same period a year ago. For the year, CEMEX expects to achieve revenue of US$6.7 billion.
CEMEX anticipates that its 2002 EBITDA and free cash flow will meet its recently stated estimates, at slightly under US$2 billion and approximately US$950 million, respectively.
The company also expects to achieve a net debt reduction in excess of US$200 million from the September 30, 2002 level.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer, said: "Despite the very challenging operational environment in 2002, the company's strong business model continues to be demonstrated by our strong free cash flow generation which is expected to be at about US$950 million. During the year, we have invested in strengthening our brands and distribution channels, and also in developing a stronger platform that will allow us to become more efficient and more agile. We expect 2003 to be a year in which CEMEX begins to capture the benefits of these major initiatives."
CEMEX's operations in Mexico continued its volume growth trend for the third consecutive quarter, as cement demand continues to benefit from healthy low-income housing construction activity as well as infrastructure spending. For the fourth quarter, domestic gray cement and ready mix volumes for CEMEX Mexico are expected to grow by more than 4% and 8% respectively, versus the same period a year ago.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are expected to decline by about 9% versus same quarter last year of which 1.5 percentage points are explained by one less shipping day in the quarter. Other contributing factors are heavy rainfall, lower industry sales and weaker construction activity in the industrial and commercial sectors.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to exhibit more than 6% growth versus fourth quarter last year, supported by strong public works spending and a healthy residential sector.
CEMEX's operations in Venezuela have been affected by the country's difficult operating environment during the month of December. Contribution to consolidated results by Venezuela is expected to be significantly lower in the fourth quarter of 2002 compared to the same period of 2001.
CEMEX expects to release its fourth quarter results on January 20th, 2003 and host its quarterly conference call on January 21st, 2003.
CEMEX is a leading global producer and marketer of cement and ready-mix products, with operations primarily concentrated in the world's most dynamic cement markets across four continents. CEMEX combines a deep knowledge of the local markets with its global network and information technology systems to provide world-class products and services to its customers, from individual homebuilders to large industrial contractors. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information that are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of CEMEX to be materially different from those expressed or implied in this release, including, among others, changes in general economic, political, governmental and business conditions globally and in the countries in which CEMEX does business, changes in interest rates, changes in inflation rates, changes in exchange rates, the level of construction generally, changes in cement demand and prices, changes in raw material and energy prices, changes in business strategy and various other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. CEMEX assumes no obligation to update or correct the information contained in this press release.
EBITDA is defined as operating income plus depreciation and amortization. Cash earnings is defined as EBITDA minus net financial expenses, cash taxes (including statutory profit sharing), income attributable to minority interest (including preferred dividends) and other cash expenses. Net Debt is defined as total debt plus preferred equity and capital securities minus cash and cash equivalents. Free Cash Flow is defined as EBITDA minus net interest expense, capital expenditures (maintenance and cement and ready mix expansion), working capital investment, cash taxes, preferred dividend payments and other cash items. All of these items are presented under Mexican generally accepted accounting principles.