About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the first quarter of 2007
March 15, 2007
CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending March 31, 2007 to be about US$830 million, an increase of close to 2% versus the same period last year, while operating income is expected to be close to US$520 million, 6% lower than the same period a year ago, due to higher depreciation and amortization charges during the quarter. For the first quarter, CEMEX expects sales of close to US$4.2 billion, an increase of close to 7% versus the same period a year ago.
Rodrigo Treviño, CEMEX's Chief Financial Officer, said: "During the quarter, most of our markets continue to show strong operating performance, mitigating the weak performance in the United States as a result of the ongoing correction in the residential sector. We continue with our cautious optimism for 2007 and expect to deliver EBITDA of about US$4.3 billion in 2007. We expect our free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures to remain stable versus last year and to continue exceeding 60% of our EBITDA in 2007. We plan to invest over US$1 billion during the year in EBITDA-growth opportunities in our existing markets. The recent placements of CEMEX España's notes and the perpetual notes at our sub-holding company in the Netherlands lengthen our debt maturity profile and strengthen our capital structure."
During the first quarter, CEMEX expects domestic cement and ready-mix sales volumes in Mexico to increase about 4% and 12%, respectively, versus the same period last year. Cement volumes continue to be driven by the infrastructure and a strong formal residential sector. The self-construction sector continues with a steady trend.
Cement and ready-mix volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are expected to decrease about 19% and 26%, respectively, during the first quarter versus the same quarter of last year. The main drivers of demand in the United States continue to be the industrial-and-commercial and public sectors, which are partially offsetting the deep correction in the residential sector, which continues to have relatively high inventory levels. Additionally, most regions in the country have experienced more normal seasonal weather this year compared to the unseasonably dry and warm weather in the first quarter of 2006.
Cement volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to increase about 3% during the first quarter versus the comparable period of last year. Ready-mix volumes are expected to increase about 1% during the first quarter versus the comparable period of 2006. The main drivers of cement and ready-mix consumption continue to be a strong residential sector, as well as the infrastructure sector ahead of the upcoming local elections later this year.
In our United Kingdom operations, cement volumes for the first quarter are expected to increase about 4% versus the same quarter last year. Ready-mix volumes are expected to decrease about 3% during the first quarter versus the comparable period of 2006. Cement volumes continue to be driven by the industrial, commercial, and public housing sectors.
Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of March 14, 2007. Given the volatility of foreign exchange rates and the increased exposure of our operations to factors beyond our control, our actual results could be materially different from our indicative guidance.
CEMEX is a growing global building solutions company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through its efforts to pursue innovative industry solutions and efficiency advancements and to promote a sustainable future. 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, weather conditions, 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, maintenance and expansion capital expenditures, change in working capital, taxes paid, and other cash items (net other expenses less proceeds from the disposal of obsolete and/or substantially depleted operating fixed assets that are no longer in operation). Net debt is defined as total debt minus the fair value of cross-currency swaps associated with debt minus cash and cash equivalents. The net debt to EBITDA ratio is calculated by dividing net debt at the end of the quarter by EBITDA for the last twelve months. All of the above items are derived from 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.