Mexican cement giant Cemex posted a like-for-like net sales increase of 2% to US$3.1bn in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019.
The company’s operating EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) on a like-for-like basis increased 1% during the quarter to $534mn.
Cemex said its quarterly sales rise was mainly due to higher product prices in local currency terms in most trading regions, increased sales of the company’s three core products in USA, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and a rise in cement sales in Mexico.
Fernando A. González, Cemex’s CEO, said: “The world is going through an unprecedented time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction activity across most of our markets is being impacted to varying degrees.
“However, we are responding rapidly to this health crisis, focusing on three main priorities: first, we are strengthening health and safety, our number one priority for many years, complementing our existing standards by developing and implementing special protocols and guidelines to protect our employees, customers, suppliers, and communities from the risks of COVID-19; second, we are supporting our customers and leveraging Cemex Go for a digital and substantially low-touch experience; and third, we are taking steps to protect the future of our company.
“Members of Cemex’s Board, Executive Committee, and senior leadership have agreed to voluntarily waive a percentage of their salaries or fees during the next three months.
“Other salaried employees have voluntarily deferred a percentage of their monthly salaries during the same period.
“Additionally, we are suspending or reducing capital expenditures, operating expenses, production and inventory levels. As a result of these and other measures, our pro-forma cash position as of the end of the quarter reached 1.7 billion dollars, a multiple of our average cash balance in the past two years.”