About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the fourth quarter of 2006
December 18, 2006
CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending December 31, 2006 of about US$930 million, an increase of about 3% versus the same period last year, while operating income is expected to be about US$620 million, 22% higher than the same period a year ago. For the fourth quarter, CEMEX expects revenue of close to US$4.3 billion, an increase of 9% versus the same period a year ago. For the full year 2006, CEMEX expects to meet its EBITDA guidance of US$4.1 billion, an increase of 15% versus the same period last year. Both revenues and operating income are expected to grow 17% for the full year 2006 compared to 2005, reaching close to US$18.0 billion and above US$2.9 billion, respectively; these results include the effect of consolidating the RMC group starting March 1st 2005.
"We are very pleased with our expected results for the fourth quarter and full year as we achieved excellent performance across most of our operations, which have sufficiently offset the negative effects of the correction in the U.S. residential sector", said Rodrigo Treviño, CEMEX's Chief Financial Officer. "During the quarter, we expect to reach our EBITDA and free-cash-flow after maintenance capital-expenditures guidance for the full year of US$4.1 billion and close to US$2.6 billion, respectively. Additionally, we will continue to apply most of our free cash flow to reduce debt. As of September, we have reduced net debt by more than US$1.5 billion. We expect net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio to be below 1.5 times by year end. These strong results are a reflection of our continuous commitment to create value for our shareholders. Considering the uncertainty around the depth and duration of the ongoing correction in the U.S. residential sector, we are unable to provide consolidated guidance for 2007 at this time. For the rest of our portfolio, we expect on average mid-cycle growth rates in our operating cash flow."
For the fourth quarter, CEMEX expects domestic cement and ready-mix sales volumes in Mexico to increase about 6% and 22%, respectively, versus the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, volumes are expected to increase 8% and 22%, respectively, versus the same period of last year. The infrastructure and formal construction continue to be the main drivers of cement. The self-construction sector has had a positive trend during the year.
In CEMEX's operations in the United States on a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations - adjusting for the effect of the consolidation of RMC's operations as well as the sale of assets last year - cement and ready-mix volumes are expected to decrease 11% and 27%, respectively, in the fourth quarter versus the same quarter of last year. For the full year 2006, cement volumes are expected to decrease 1% while ready-mix volumes are expected to decrease 17% versus the same period in 2005.
The residential sector continues declining faster than generally expected earlier this year, as a result of declining new home sales and high inventory levels. The infrastructure and industrial-and-commercial sectors continue to be the main drivers of cement consumption in the United States, and are partially mitigating the weak residential sector.
Cement volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to increase 6% during the fourth quarter and increase 9% for the full year, versus the comparable periods in 2005. Ready-mix volumes, adjusted for the integration of the ReadyMix Asland assets after the termination of the joint venture with Lafarge, are expected to increase 5% during the fourth quarter and 9% for the full year versus the comparable periods of last year. The main drivers of cement consumption continue to be a stronger-than-expected residential sector, partially responding to continued migration flows, as well as a healthy infrastructure sector.
In our United Kingdom operations, cement volumes for the fourth quarter are expected to increase 4% versus the same quarter last year. For the full year, cement volumes are expected to decrease 5% compared to the same period last year. Volumes for total cementitious materials, including cement and slag, are expected to increase 5% for the fourth quarter versus the same quarter last year, while they are expected to decrease 1% for the full year. Ready-mix volumes are expected to decrease 3% during the fourth quarter and decrease 1% for the full year versus the comparable periods last year. The positive performance from the industrial, commercial, and public housing sectors is partially compensating the slowdown in infrastructure and private new housing work.
Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange rates as of December 15, 2006. 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 high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Commemorating its 100th anniversary in 2006, CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through its efforts to pursue innovative industry solutions and efficiency advancements and 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, maintenance and expansion capital expenditures, change in working capital, taxes paid, and other cash items (net other expenses less proceeds from the disposal of obsolete and/or substantially depleted operating fixed assets that are no longer in operation). Net debt is defined as total debt minus the fair value of cross-currency swaps associated with debt 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. 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.