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Cement demand in the Americas and Asia spurs 10% growth for Cemex

World Cement,

Cemex has announced that its operating EBITDA increased 10% in the full year 2012 to US$2.6 billion, and by 13% in the fourth quarter, to US$611 million. Net sales of cement and other building materials products hit US$15.0 billion in 2012 – down 2% y/y – and were stable at US$3.7 billion in 4Q12.

The global cement giant reports infrastructure and residential sectors were the main drivers of demand, which saw operating earnings before other expenses soar 26% in 4Q y/y and a massive 35% for the full year, to US$1.3 billion. Free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures was US$228 million for the quarter, down 40% from 4Q11.

4Q results vary by region

  • Operations in the US reported net sales of US$756 million in the final quarter of 2011, up 11% y/y. Northern Europe, meanwhile, saw an 8% decrease in the same period with net sales reaching US$1 billion. Fourth quarter operating EBITDA was down 2% y/y.
  • The Mediterranean region suffered an 8% decrease in net sales y/y, at US$354 million. Operating EBITDA decreased 12% to US$82 million.
  • In Asia, Cemex’s net sales increased 12% in 4Q12, reaching US$139 million, while operating EBITDA was up 55% y/y at US$28 million.
  • Earlier this week, we reported results for Cemex Latam Holdings, which showed significant growth throughout the region.

“Year of recovery”

Speaking about the results, Fernando A. González, Executive Vice President of Finance & Administraion, said: “2012 was a year of recovery for Cemex. During the year, we achieved the highest EBITDA generation and operating EBITDA margin since 2009 and the fourth quarter was the sixth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year EBITDA increase. We are particularly pleased with the quarterly performance of our operations in the United States, and the South, Central America and Caribbean and Asia regions. In the case of the US, we were EBITDA-profitable again for the first time since 2009. In addition, we had record-high cement volumes in Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

“Throughout 2012, we took decisive steps to improve our debt maturity profile and strengthen our capital structure. We have now addresses all our required amortizations under the new Facilities Agreement until February 2017. Today we are not only in better shape financially, but we are also much more agile and flexible operationally.”

Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui.

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