Cemex posts 6% like-for-like sales increase in 2018

Cemex says that its 2018 consolidated net like-for-like sales for full-year 2018 increased by 6% on the previous year to US$14.4bn.

The building materials giant also posted a 4% increase in consolidated net sales during the fourth quarter of 2018 to US$3.5bn, compared with the same quarter in 2017.

Cemex attributed the increase in Q4 consolidated net sales to higher prices of its products, in local currency terms in all of its regions, as well as higher volumes mainly in the ready-mix and aggregates businesses in Mexico and the US.

CEO Fernando Gonzalez said: “During 2018, we generated more than US$900mn in free cash flow after maintenance capex, with a strong EBITDA-to-free-cash-flow conversion rate, which allowed us to reduce our total debt by 8%, or close to US$1bn. We also made significant advances under our A Stronger CEMEX plan during the second half of last year and are on track to achieve our 2019 and 2020 targets under this programme.”

Operating EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), also on a like-to-like basis, remained flat during Q4 2018 at US$604mn and increased by 1% for the full year to US$2.6bn versus 2017.

During Q4 2018, controlling interest net loss was US$37mn, versus a loss of US$105mn in the same period last year. Controlling interest net income for the full year was US$543mn, a decline from an income of US$806mn in 2017.

Total debt plus perpetual notes decreased by US$239mn during the quarter. During 2018, total debt plus perpetual notes was reduced by approximately US$952mn, which represents an 8% reduction from the debt level as of the end of 2017, and a 40% reduction compared to the end of 2013.

Net sales in Cemex operations in Mexico, on a like-to-like basis, increased 5% in Q4 2018 to US$776mn. Operating EBITDA, on a like-to-like basis remained flat at US$265mn in the quarter, versus the same period in 2017.

Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of US$905mn in Q4 2018, an increase of 8% on a like-to-like basis from the same period in 2017. Operating EBITDA increased by 6% on a like-to-like basis to US$168 million versus the same quarter of 2017.

The South, Central America and the Caribbean operations reported net sales of US$425mn during the fourth quarter of 2018, a decline of 6% on a like-to-like basis over the same period of 2017. Operating EBITDA decreased by 8% on a like-to-like basis to US$93mn in the fourth quarter of 2018, from US$105mn in the same quarter of 2017.

In Europe, net sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 increased by 5% on a like-to-like basis, compared with the same period last year, reaching US$914mn. Operating EBITDA was US$87mn for the quarter, 8% lower than the same period last year on a like-to-like basis.

Operations in Asia, Middle East and Africa reported stable net sales in the fourth quarter of 2018, at US$346mn, versus the same quarter of 2017 on a like-to-like basis. Operating EBITDA for the quarter was US$42mn, 17% lower on a like-to-like basis than the same period last year.

This article first appeared on our sister title Aggregates Business.


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