Cemex has announced the highest net income in a decade of $806m in 2017, from $750m the year before. In addition, net sales increased by 4% year-on-year during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 to $3.4bn, and increased 3% for the full year to 13.7bn. Operating EBITDA decreased by 7% during Q4 to $625m, and decreased by 6% for the full year to US$2.6bn.
The company said that the increase in net sales was due to prices of products in local currency terms in Mexico, the U.S. and our Europe region, as well as higher volumes in our U.S., Europe and Asia, Middle East & Africa regions.
Fernando A. Gonzalez, Cemex’s chief executive officer, said: “Although 2017 was a challenging year, our two largest markets, Mexico and the United States, performed well with like-to-like increases in their EBITDA. We also generated free cash flow after maintenance capex of close to US$1.3 billion, with a 50% EBITDA-to-free-cash-flow conversion rate and which, together with our asset-divestment initiatives, resulted in pro-forma debt reduction of close to US$2.1 billion during the year.
“We had important headwinds during the year: underperformance in Colombia, Egypt and the Philippines as well as increased energy costs, mainly in Mexico. As we have done in the past, we focused on the variables we control to dampen these headwinds and we continued to deliver solid results.”