About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the third quarter of 2004
September 12, 2004
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending September 30, 2004 of about US$645 million, an increase of 13% versus the year earlier period, while operating income is expected to be about US$485 million, an increase of 20%. For the third quarter, CEMEX expects revenue of more than US$2 billion. For the first nine months of the year, CEMEX expects EBITDA to exceed US$1.8 billion and revenue of about US$5.8 billion, growth rates of 14% and 10%, respectively.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer, said: "We are pleased by our strong year to date performance which leads us to increase our full year guidance for EBITDA and free cash flow, which are now expected to be about US$2.4 billion and US$1.4 billion respectively. We expect that for the first nine months of the year our net debt will decrease by more than 900 million dollars, enabling us to achieve a leverage ratio of net debt to EBITDA of two times at the end of the third quarter".
For the third quarter, CEMEX Mexico's domestic gray cement volume is expected to grow by about 2% for both the third quarter and for the first nine months of the year versus the same periods a year ago. Cement demand continues to be driven by the public works and housing sectors, while the self-construction sector remains stable. Given this performance in volumes for the first nine months of the year, we expect volume growth in Mexico of about 2% for the full year 2004.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are expected to increase 7% in the third quarter versus the same quarter of last year, including the effect of the acquisition of the Dixon-Marquette cement plant. For the first nine months of 2004 cement volumes are expected to increase 10% versus the same period in 2003. The main drivers of demand during the quarter continue to be the residential and streets and highways sectors, while the industrial and commercial sector continues its recovery. For the full year, we expect U.S. cement volumes to increase about 6% versus 2003.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to increase by about 5% versus the third quarter of last year and about 1% for the first nine months of 2004 compared to the same periods in 2003. Cement demand is being driven mainly by a strong public works sector, as well as a healthy residential sector supported by a low interest rate environment. For the full year, we expect Spanish cement volumes to remain flat versus 2003.
Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of September 10, 2004.
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, acquisition opportunities, 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. Free Cash Flow is defined as EBITDA minus net interest expense, capital expenditures, change in working capital, taxes paid, dividends on preferred equity and other cash items. Net debt is defined as total debt plus equity obligations minus cash and cash equivalents. All of the above items are presented under generally accepted accounting principles in Mexico. EBITDA and Free Cash Flow (as defined above) are presented herein because CEMEX believes that they are widely accepted as financial indicators of CEMEX's ability to internally fund capital expenditures and service or incur debt. EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered as indicators of CEMEX's financial performance, as alternatives to cash flow, as measures of liquidity or as being comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies.