CEMEX expects net debt reduction of more than US$1.0 billion for the year 2001
December 17, 2001
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today it expects to achieve net debt reduction for 2001 above US$1.0 billion, which is more than one third of the total debt relating to the acquisition of Southdown. Debt refinancing for the year will be approximately US$2.4 billion, with medium and long-term facilities improving the company´s financial flexibility. Net debt reduction for the fourth quarter is expected to exceed US$150 million.
EBITDA in the quarter ending December 31, 2001 is expected to be of about US$510 million. Cemex also confirms its expectation of achieving EBITDA of US$2.2 billion and Free Cash Flow in excess of US$1.0 billion for the full year 2001.
Cement volumes in Mexico during the fourth quarter continue to be weak, performing in line with the first nine months of 2001. This has been partially offset by the continuing strength in cement demand in the United States and Spain.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer said: "During 2001 we managed to deliver top line growth and strong operating free cash flow despite a slowing global economy, due to lower interest payments resulting from debt reduction and a lower interest rate environment. We are also pleased to see out targets for net debt reduction and debt refinancing being met, underscoring our commitment and ability to strengthen our balance sheet, lengthen maturity profile and reduce interest costs."
CEMEX expects to release its full year 2001 results on January 28, 2002 and host its conference call on January 29, 2002.
CEMEX is a leading global producer and marketer of cement and ready-mix products, with operations 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.
EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Free cash flow is defined as EBITDA minus net interest expense, capital expenditures, increase or decrease in working capital, cash taxes, preferred equity dividend payments, employee profit-sharing payments paid in cash, US dumping charges paid in cash and other cash items. Net debt is defined as total on balance sheet debt plus preferred equity and capital securities minus cash and cash equivalents. All of these items are presented under Mexican generally accepted accounting principles.
Daniel Pérez Whitaker
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José Antonio González