About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the second quarter of 2005
June 20, 2005
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending June 30, 2005 in excess of US$970 million, an increase of 53% versus the year earlier period, while operating income is expected to exceed US$730 million, 56% higher than a year ago. For the second quarter, CEMEX expects revenue of about US$4.4 billion, an increase of 125% versus the same period a year ago. For the first six months of the year, CEMEX expects EBITDA in excess of US$1.6 billion, while revenue is expected at about US$7 billion, a growth of 35% and 86% respectively; these results include the effect of consolidating the RMC group starting March 1st 2005.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer, said: "We are pleased by our consolidated performance for the first half of the year. This gives us greater confidence in our ability to exceed our targeted EBITDA of US$3.5 billion for the full year 2005. We will use all of our free cash flow generated during the quarter to reduce net debt. In addition, the favorable conversion effects when we calculate our net debt in US dollar terms will enable us to achieve a leverage ratio of net debt to EBITDA of under 3 times by the end of the quarter. This would represent a net debt reduction of close to US$700 million."
For the second quarter, CEMEX Mexico's domestic cement volume is expected to increase about 4% versus the same quarter a year ago and is expected to be 2% lower for the first six months of the year versus the same period of last year. On a like-to-like basis, adjusting for the fewer business days during second quarter 2004, cement volumes would be expected to remain flat. Cement volume for the first half of 2005 was driven mainly by the residential sector and formal construction, but was affected by increased rainfall during the first two months of the year versus the same period last year. The infrastructure and self-construction sectors remain stable. Given this performance in volumes for the first half of the year, we expect volume growth in Mexico to be about 2% for the full year 2005.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are expected to increase 6% in the second quarter versus the same quarter of last year. This increase includes the effect of RMC operations for second quarter 2005 and the sale of assets completed on March 31, 2005. For the first six months of 2005 cement volumes are expected to increase 5% versus the same period in 2004.
On a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations, cement volumes would have increased 10% for the quarter and 5% for the first half of the year versus the same periods last year. For the full year, we expect cement sales volumes to increase about 5% versus 2004 on a like-to-like basis.
Cement demand remains strong; with increased consumption from all sectors versus last year's levels. The residential sector has continued to grow, driven mainly by the continued favorable interest-rate environment and spending in infrastructure while industrial and commercial development has remained strong and growing.
Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to increase about 11% versus the second quarter of last year and 8% for the first six months of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004. The main drivers of cement demand continue to be a strong residential sector, driven by a low interest rate environment and a robust public sector. Given this performance in volumes for the first half of the year, we expect volume growth in Spain to be about 3% for the full year 2005.
Cement sales volumes in the United Kingdom are expected to increase by about 5% versus the second quarter of last year. Cement demand during the quarter was driven principally by some ongoing large infrastructure projects. We are pleased that the Rugby plant has been consistently operating at well in excess of 90% of its production capacity for the last two months.
The performance of the rest of the portfolio is, in the aggregate, in line with the expectations for the year and current guidance. We expect full-year EBITDA and free cash flow to benefit from the positive momentum experienced during the first half of the year as well as from the incorporation of the RMC operations.
Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of June 17, 2005. A more detailed discussion on CEMEX, including the effect of RMC, as well as additional geographic regions and products will be included in our second quarter report.
CEMEX is a leading global producer and marketer of cement and ready-mix products, with operations primarily 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. 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. 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.