CEMEX reported 2017 cement volumes down 2% in its Asia, Middle East and Africa business, despite a 16% increase in 4Q17. Full year earnings dropped 35% on a like-for-like basis to US$223 million.
Cement volumes were flat in the Philippines for the year, although up 10% in the final quarter resulting in an all-time high for the second half of a year for the company. Net sales were down, however, due to lower cement prices in the southeast Asian country.
Average prices were down substantially in the Asia, Middle East and Africa business area, falling 17% in 4Q17 and 25% over the full year.
Business in Egypt was also variable with 4Q17 volumes up 23% but volumes for the full year down 6%. Final quarter grown in cement was underpinned by improved demand from the residential and infrastructure sectors, CEMEX said, as well as a low base of comparison compared to 4Q16.
Despite the challenging year, the final quarter uptick provided some positivity to the outlook.
In Egypt, residential demand coupled with significant infrastructure developments, including the construction of the new administrative capital, should provide a base for cement demand.
In addition, CEMEX “remains positive on the prospects of Philippine construction with expectations of sustained economic expansion in 2018,” said Ignacio Mijares, President and CEO of CEMEX Holdings Philippines.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/asia-pacific-rim/27022018/cemex-reports-rough-year-in-asia-and-africa/