About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the fourth quarter of 2005
December 16, 2005
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending December 31, 2005 to be about US$950 million, an increase of about 63% versus the year earlier period, while operating income is expected at about US$640 million, 54% higher than the same period a year ago. For the fourth quarter, CEMEX expects revenue in excess of US$3.9 billion, an increase of 95% versus the same period a year ago. For the full year 2005, CEMEX expects EBITDA of close to US$3.6 billion, while revenue is expected to be about US$15.3 billion, about 42% and 88% higher than last year, respectively. These results include the effect of consolidating the RMC group starting March 1st 2005.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer, said: "Our continued strong operating performance during this quarter puts us on track to our EBITDA guidance for 2005, and to exceed our free-cash-flow guidance, which we now expect to be more than US$1.9 billion. We continue to apply most of our free cash flow towards reducing debt and we expect our leverage ratio of net debt to EBITDA to end the year at under 2.5 times. For 2006, we expect EBITDA of about US$4 billion based on prevailing exchange rates and despite significant increases in transportation costs. We expect our free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures to continue to exceed 55% of our EBITDA."
For the fourth quarter, CEMEX Mexico's domestic cement volume is expected to increase by 2% versus the same quarter a year ago and is expected to remain flat for the full year versus 2004. Cement volume in the fourth quarter is expected to be driven by strength in the formal housing sector and specially an increased consumption in the infrastructure sector which continues its favorable tendency this last quarter. It is also being driven to a lesser extent by the self-construction sector, which is reversing its negative trend during the quarter.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are expected to increase 5% in the fourth quarter versus the same quarter of last year. This increase includes the effect of the consolidation of RMC's operations for fourth quarter 2005 and the sale of assets completed on March 31, 2005. For the full year of 2005 cement volumes are expected to increase 5% versus last year.
In the United States, on a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations, cement volumes would have increased 7% both for the quarter and for the full year 2005 versus the same periods last year.
All segments of cement demand in the United States have been strong during the year. Spending in highways and infrastructure continue strong as states' fiscal conditions have improved. Cement demand is also being driven by a still-robust residential sector which has stabilized at a high level and by the industrial and commercial sector, which has benefited from an expanding economy.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to decrease 1% versus the fourth quarter of last year, which was atypically dry and strong, and to increase 3% for the full year 2005 compared to 2004. Residential construction has been one of the main drivers of demand during the year continuing at high levels of consumption, although moderating its growth rate versus that seen in the first half of the year. Spending in infrastructure has also contributed to the increased levels of cement demand.
In the United Kingdom, cement sales volumes for the fourth quarter are expected to decrease by about 5% versus RMC's volumes for the fourth quarter of last year. For the full year, cement volumes are expected to decline by about 3% compared to those of RMC for the same period of last year. Construction output is expected to decrease this year versus 2004, mainly due to a significant reduction on public spending on infrastructure, public housing and public investments on hospitals and schools. In addition, the commercial and private housing sectors grew at a slower pace than that of 2004.
Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of December 15, 2005. Given the volatility of foreign exchange rates and the increased exposure of our operations to factors beyond our control, our actual results could be materially different from our indicative guidance.
CEMEX is a growing global building solutions company that provides products of consistently high quality and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The company improves the well-being of those it serves through its relentless focus on continuous improvement and efforts to promote a sustainable future. 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. CEMEX assumes no obligation to update or correct the information contained in this press release.
EBITDA is defined as operating income plus depreciation and amortization. Free Cash Flow is defined as EBITDA minus net interest expense, capital expenditures, change in working capital, taxes paid, dividends on preferred equity and other cash items. Net debt is defined as total debt plus equity obligations minus cash and cash equivalents. The net debt to EBITDA ratio is calculated by dividing net debt at the end of the quarter by EBITDA for the last twelve months. EBITDA for the last twelve months includes the estimated EBITDA for RMC for those periods not consolidated in CEMEX. All of the above items are presented under generally accepted accounting principles in Mexico. EBITDA and Free Cash Flow (as defined above) are presented herein because CEMEX believes that they are widely accepted as financial indicators of CEMEX's ability to internally fund capital expenditures and service or incur debt. EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered as indicators of CEMEX's financial performance, as alternatives to cash flow, as measures of liquidity or as being comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies.