CEMEX's net sales rise 22% and free cash flow 25% in fourth quarter 2000
January 29, 2001
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX), announced today that its net sales for fourth quarter 2000 were US$1.5 billion, a 22% increase in dollar terms versus fourth quarter 1999. In real peso terms, net sales grew 21% to $14.5 billion pesos.
Net sales increased due to higher revenues in Mexico, Colombia, Central America, and the Caribbean and the acquisitions of Assiut Cement in Egypt and Southdown in the United States. Fourth quarter 2000 results include the consolidation of the Southdown operations for November and December.
CEMEX's consolidated free cash flow for fourth quarter 2000 was US$215 million (excluding capital expenditures from Southdown), up 25% versus the same period a year ago. For the full year, free cash flow was US$929 million, a 8% gain compared to the previous year.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the quarter totaled US$513 million, a 17% increase in dollar terms compared to the same period in 1999. In real peso terms, EBITDA grew 15%, to $4.9 billion pesos.
For the year ended December 31, 2000, net sales reached US$5.6 billion, up 16% in dollar terms versus 1999, while EBITDA, at US$2 billion, rose 13% year over year. In real peso terms, net sales for the full year increased 15% versus 1999, to $54.1 billion pesos, and EBITDA was 12% higher, reaching $19.5 billion pesos.
Operating income rose 17% in dollar terms to US$397 million; in real peso terms, operating income rose 16% to $3.8 billion pesos. As a percentage of sales, operating margin was 26.3% for the quarter, compared to 27.4% for the same period in 1999. For the full year, operating income grew 15% in dollar terms to US$1.7 billion and 14% in real peso terms to $15.9 billion pesos.
CEMEX's majority net income during the quarter rose 49% in dollar terms to US$246.9 million (US$0.89 per CPO ADS) and, in real peso terms, grew 48% to $2.4 billion pesos ($8.55 pesos per CPO ADS). Majority net income for 2000 was US$999.3 million (US$3.65 per CPO ADS), up 3% versus 1999, while in real peso terms it grew 2% to $9.6 billion pesos ($34.95 pesos per CPO ADS).
Interest plus preferred dividend coverage (EBITDA before operating lease payments and cost restatements for inflation divided by interest expense plus dividends on Preferred Capital Securities and Preferred Equity) was 4.07 times for the trailing twelve months versus 3.57 times a year ago. Leverage, defined as Net Debt to Trailing Twelve Month EBITDA, increased to 3.00 times (including Southdown results for the full year on a pro-forma basis) versus 2.68 times at the end of full year 1999.
On a worldwide basis, CEMEX's consolidated cement sales volume for the quarter was 13.8 million metric tons, 23% higher versus the same quarter in 1999, while ready-mix volumes, at 4.2 million cubic meters, grew 17%. For the full year, cement volumes increased 20% compared to 1999, reaching 51.9 million metric tons, while ready-mix volumes grew 14% to 15.8 million cubic meters.
Quarterly net sales for CEMEX's North America region were US$977 million, 30% higher in dollar terms versus fourth quarter 1999. The region's EBITDA reached US$364 million, up 14%. For the full year, net sales for the region grew 19% to US$3.5 billion versus 1999, and EBITDA increased 10% to US$1.5 billion.
The South America & Caribbean region's net sales were US$268 million during the quarter, an increase of 10% compared to the same period in 1999, and EBITDA rose 31% to US$111 million. For the full year, net sales were US$1.1 billion, a 12% increase versus 1999, and EBITDA was 18% higher at US$392 million.
Net sales for the Europe, Asia & Africa region totaled US$285 million for the quarter, up 30% compared to the same period in 1999, while EBITDA grew 8% to US$91 million. For the full year, the region's net sales were US$1.1 billion, a 30% increase versus 1999, and EBITDA grew 21% to US$402 million.
CEMEX is one of the three largest cement companies in the world, with approximately 77 million metric tons of production capacity. It is also the world's largest trader of cement and its leading producer of white cement. CEMEX is engaged in the production, distribution, marketing, and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and clinker through operating subsidiaries on four continents. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.
Daniel Pérez Whitaker
(528) 152 2747
(528) 328 3631
José Antonio González