CEMEX's net sales grow 26% and cash earnings 15% in dollar terms for third quarter 2001
October 25, 2001
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) reported today that its net sales for third quarter 2001 were US$1.76 billion, a 26% growth in dollar terms versus third quarter 2000. In real peso terms, net sales increased 22% to Ps 16.7 billion.
The net sales increase was due mainly to higher revenues from the company's operations in the United States and Spain, which offset declines in Mexico, Venezuela, Egypt, and the Philippines.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) grew 9% during the quarter, to US$562 million, while cash earnings, as defined by EBITDA minus net financial expense, rose 15% compared to third quarter 2000, reaching US$478 million (US$1.63 per ADS). In real peso terms, cash earnings were 11% higher than third quarter 2000, reaching Ps 4.55 billion (Ps 3.11 per CPO).
Héctor Medina, Executive Vice-President of Planning and Finance, said: "Our business model continues to deliver free cash flow and cash earnings growth in line with our long-term double-digit track record. For the year, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our original free cash flow and cash earnings targets of US$1.0 billion and US$1.7 billion dollars, respectively."
The gain in EBITDA was mainly due to higher contributions from the United States, Colombia, and the Central America / Caribbean region. Likewise, cash earnings grew faster than EBITDA as a result of a lower interest expense.
CEMEX's net income after minority interest during the third quarter was 59% lower in dollar terms compared to the same period of 2000, reaching US$107 million (US$0.37 per ADS), mainly due to non-cash items, such as foreign exchange losses and higher amortization of goodwill.
Quarterly net income after minority interest in real peso terms was off 61% versus third quarter 2000, to Ps 1.0 billion (Ps 0.70 per CPO).
CEMEX's consolidated free cash flow for third quarter 2001 reached US$475 million, which represented a 68% growth vis-à-vis the comparable year-ago period. This free cash flow was used to pay down net debt by US$363 million (net debt, however, decreased by only US$296 million during the third quarter, as a result of foreign exchange movements). Year to date, net debt reductions have totaled US$870 million. In addition, US$2.2 billion of short-term debt have been refinanced during 2001, extending CEMEX's debt maturity profile and reinforcing its financial flexibility.
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 and Preferred Equity) was 4.08 times for the latest twelve months versus 4.0 times a year ago. Leverage, defined as Net Debt to Trailing Twelve-Month EBITDA, increased to 2.74 times (including the results of Southdown on a pro-forma basis) versus 2.16 times for the same period in 2000.
On a worldwide basis, CEMEX's consolidated cement sales volume for the quarter was 16 million metric tons, 22% higher compared to third quarter 2000, while ready-mix volumes, at 4.6 million cubic meters, increased 15%.
In North America, the company's Mexican operations decreased net sales by 8% in dollar terms, and domestic cement volumes were 8% lower than third quarter 2000. In the U.S., net sales grew 217% due to the consolidation of Southdown. On a pro-forma basis, third quarter cement volumes in the U.S. rose 7%, driven by a strong public works sector.
In Europe, operational highlights include a 14% rise in net sales for Spain, with domestic cement and ready-mix volumes increasing 6% and 5%, respectively, compared to third quarter 2000. The public works sector continues to be strong and is expected to be the main driver of cement consumption in Spain in the coming months.
In South America, CEMEX's Venezuelan operations reported a 3% increase in domestic cement volumes, supported by spending on public works. In Colombia, cement volumes were 12% lower for the third quarter, but net sales were off only 1% due to higher cement prices in dollar terms.
CEMEX Philippines' third quarter domestic cement volumes were 11% lower year-over-year. The construction sector in the Philippines continues to perform weak, as public spending is low and cement demand in the residential sector is lagging. In Egypt, CEMEX's operations recorded a 3% decline in domestic cement volumes, and net sales measured in dollar terms were 20% lower than third quarter 2000.
CEMEX is one of the three largest cement companies in the world, with approximately 78 million metric tons of production capacity. It is also the world's leading producer of white cement, and one of the world's largest traders of cement. CEMEX is engaged in the production, distribution, marketing, and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and clinker through operating subsidiaries in five continents. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.
Daniel Pérez Whitaker
(528) 152 2747
(528) 328 3631
José Antonio González