CEMEX reports 18% increase in net sales and 22% EBITDA in dollar terms during 2000 first quarter
April 25, 2000
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that its net sales for the first quarter of 2000 were US$1.325 billion, growing 18% in dollar terms compared to the first quarter of 1999. In real peso terms, net sales grew 16% to $12.297 billion pesos.
After removing the effect of recent acquisitions, net sales grew 12% in dollar terms versus the first quarter of the previous year, mainly attributable to higher domestic demand and strong pricing in many of the company´s markets.
During the first quarter, EBITDA reached US$486 million, 22% higher in dollar terms versus the same period of 1999, while EBITDA margins expanded to 36.7% as a percentage of sales, from 35.6% a year ago. In real peso terms, EBITDA for the first quarter grew 19%, to $4.513 billion pesos.
Héctor Medina, Executive Vice President of Planning and Finance, said: “This first quarter results continue to highlight CEMEX´s cash flow generation capacity. The company´s operating performance during the quarter surpassed expectations, and set the company in the right path to make 2000 another record year for CEMEX.”
CEMEX´s consolidated free cash flow for the first quarter of 2000 was 10% higher vis-à-vis the same quarter of 1999, totaling US$194 million. Free cash flow in real peso terms was $1.8 billion, up 8% compared to the first quarter of 1999.
Operating income for the first quarter of 2000 rose 25% in dollars terms, to US$397 million, or 22% in real peso terms to $3.684 billion pesos. As a percentage of sales, operating margin was 30% for the quarter, compared to 28.3% for the same period of 1999.
CEMEX´s majority net income decreased 14% in dollar terms to US$258 million, while in real peso terms it was 16% lower, at $2.395 billion pesos. This reduction was due to foreign exchange movements and lower net monetary gains. Cash earnings, at US$1.37 per ADS, were up from US$1.17 per ADS in the same year-ago period. On a per-ADS basis, earnings were US$0.96, down from US$1.23 during the first quarter of 1999.
Interest plus Preferred dividend coverage (EBITDA before operating lease payments and cost restatements for inflation divided by interest expense plus dividend on Preferred Capital Securities) increased to 3.72 times for trailing twelve months, versus 3.12 times a year ago. Leverage, as defined by Net Debt to Trailing Twelve Month EBITDA, declined to 2.45 times, versus 3.16 times at the end of the first quarter of 1999.
CEMEX´s worldwide consolidated cement volumes for the first quarter grew 19% versus the same quarter of 1999, while ready-mix volumes increased 14%.
During the first quarter, CEMEX´s North America region (which includes the Mexican and U.S. operations) had net sales of US$784 million, up 21% in dollar terms compared to same period of 1999. The region´s EBITDA grew 21%, to US$350 million.
South America & Caribbean region´s net sales, at US$269 million, reported a 10% growth year-over-year, and EBITDA generation rose 7% reaching US$84 million.
Net sales for the Europe & Asia region were US$292 million for the first quarter of 1999, 38% higher than the comparable year-ago period. The region´s EBITDA grew 47% to US$107 million.
Founded in 1906, CEMEX is one of the three largest cement companies in the world with approximately 65 million metric tons of production capacity. Through operating subsidiaries positioned in four different continents, CEMEX is engaged in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and clinker. In addition, the company is the world´s leading producer of white cement and the world´s largest trader of cement and clinker.