About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the first quarter of 2003
March 17, 2003
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending March 31, 2003 to reach approximately US$425 million, versus US$473 million for the first quarter of 2002, while operating income is expected to reach about US$275 million for the first quarter of 2003 versus US$320 million a year ago. For the first quarter, CEMEX expects to achieve revenue of about US$1,550 million versus US$1,571 million a year ago.
For the first quarter, CEMEX Mexico's domestic gray cement and ready mix volumes are expected to grow by about 9% and 19% respectively versus the same period a year ago. Cement demand in Mexico continues to benefit from the strength of the low-income housing sector, a robust infrastructure sector driven by government spending, and a stable self-construction sector.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are expected to decline by about 3% versus same quarter last year. Cement demand was partially affected by adverse weather conditions relative to last year.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to grow by about 2% versus first quarter last year, supported by strong public works spending and a healthy residential sector.
Overall, our quarterly results are expected to be positively impacted by more business days in some of the countries where we have operations as a result of the lesser number of religious holidays during this first quarter, when compared with a year ago.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer, said: "We are pleased by the better than expected performance in Mexico and Spain. While we continue to have a challenging environment in Venezuela, its performance is on track with our expectations. We are however increasingly cautious with respect to our United States operations and its performance going forward. This is primarily driven by revised expectations of lower growth due to continued geopolitical uncertainty and to lower consumer confidence. Our results for the quarter will benefit from the achievement of important cost cutting measures underway. Given our expected performance during the first quarter, we remain comfortable about our previously stated sales and EBITDA guidance for 2003."
CEMEX expects to release its first quarter results and host its quarterly conference call on April 11th, 2003. Guidance numbers for the first quarter of 2003 are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of March 14th, 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. All of the above items are presented under generally accepted accounting principles in Mexico. EBITDA (as defined above) is presented herein because the company believes that it is widely accepted as a financial indicator of the company's ability to internally fund capital expenditures and service or incur debt. EBITDA should not be considered as an indicator of the company's financial performance, as an alternative to cash flow, as a measure of liquidity or as being comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies.