About Us - Press Release - CEMEX's cash earnings increased 3% and free cash flow 26% in second quarter 2002
July 15, 2002
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that its cash earnings for second quarter 2002 increased 3% versus the same quarter of 2001, to US$418 million (US$1.41 per ADS). The increase was mainly due to lower interest expense (including preferred dividends), which declined 34% compared to the second quarter of 2001.
Consolidated free cash flow for the quarter was US$378 million, 26% higher than the same quarter a year ago.
Second quarter net sales of US$1.74 billion declined 4% in dollar terms versus second quarter 2001. Higher net sales in CEMEX's operations in Spain, Colombia, and Egypt were offset by lower revenues in the United States and Venezuela. In real peso terms, net sales decreased 3%, to MXP17.3 billion.
EBITDA (operating profit plus depreciation and amortization) for the quarter was US$555 million, declining 9% in dollar terms year over year. The consolidated EBITDA margin was reduced to 31.9% from 33.7% a year ago, mainly due to a change in the product and country mix, as well as higher selling, general and administrative costs related to upfront expenses in information technology, and to the strengthening of CEMEX's commercial and distribution network worldwide. In real peso terms, EBITDA, at MXP5.5 billion, was 8% lower.
Majority net income decreased to US$73 million (US$0.25 per ADS) in the second quarter of 2002. The decline was due to non-cash items, such as foreign exchange losses, and a reduction in the value of our marketable securities due to the decline in the mark-to-market value of some of our derivative instruments. This was further exacerbated by the absence of a US$131 million extraordinary gain on the sale of the Banacci shares during the second quarter of 2001. In real peso terms, net income declined to MXP727 million (MXP 0.49 per CPO).
Second quarter operating income decreased 12% in dollar terms to US$403 million. In real peso terms, operating income fell 11% to MXP4.5 billion.
Interest plus preferred dividend coverage (EBITDA divided by interest expense plus preferred dividend for the last twelve months) increased to 5.3 times for the last twelve months, versus 4.0 times a year ago.
Additionally, financial leverage (net debt plus preferred equity to trailing twelve-month EBITDA) increased to 2.9 times versus 2.8 times for the same period in 2001. During the second quarter, free cash flow in the amount of US$269 million was used to reduce net debt.
On a worldwide basis, CEMEX's consolidated cement sales volume for the second quarter was 16.1 million metric tons, 2% lower compared to second quarter 2001, while ready-mix volumes, at 4.8 cubic meters, were 2%higher.
CEMEX's Mexican operations reported net sales of US$657 million in the second quarter, a 2% decline versus second quarter 2001, and 6% higher than first quarter 2002. Domestic cement sales volumes increased 10%, on the back of a stable self-construction sector. Consumption in the formal sector continues weak, while government spending in infrastructure and housing drove demand during the quarter. In fact, ready-mix volumes grew 16% driven by increased governments projects.
In the United States, CEMEX's net sales were US$482 million, 8% lower compared to year-ago period. EBITDA decreased 11% to US$126 million. Cement sales volumes decreased 6% during the second quarter of 2002, while ready-mix volumes were 8% lower compared to the second quarter of 2001. The Midwest region has been the most affected during the year by unfavorable weather conditions, mostly during the months of March, April, and June. Average realized cement prices remained flat versus the second quarter of 2001 and also versus the first quarter of 2002.
In Spain, the company's net sales grew 5%, to US$238 million. Domestic cement volumes decreased 2% and ready-mix volumes grew 3% over second quarter 2001. Construction spending has softened compared to the same period a year ago, but remains high compared to the overall economic activity in Spain. Public works spending and residential construction have been the main drivers of demand during the quarter.
CEMEX Venezuela's operations reported a 20% decrease in domestic cement volumes. Government spending on infrastructure remains low compared to last year, particularly during June, due to the recent political and economic situation that affects the country. Also, private investment has decreased.
CEMEX Colombia's domestic cement volume was 3% lower compared to second quarter 2001, and ready-mix volume declined 4%. The continued tense political and economic situation has led to few starts of new infrastructure projects, as well as a decrease of investment from the private sector. This drop in cement demand has been partially offset by flat demand in the self-construction sector.
CEMEX Philippines' second quarter domestic cement volume increased 57% year-over-year, driven by an increased participation in the market as less cement imports have entered the country.
CEMEX Egypt recorded a 38% increase in domestic cement volumes compared to second quarter 2001, driven by increased sales in Lower Egypt and a continued commercial effort in the region.
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.