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Cemex announces Q409 results

World Cement,

Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. has announced that consolidated net sales decreased 17% in the fourth quarter of 2009, to US$3.4 billion, and decreased 28% for the full year, to US$14.5 billion, versus the comparable periods in 2008. Adjusting for the exclusion of its Venezuelan operations, the sale of Cemex’s assets in Australia and the Canary Islands, and currency fluctuations, net sales decreased 20% in the fourth quarter and decreased 19% for the full year of 2009.

EBITDA fell 37% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to US$474 million and decreased 35% for the full year to US$2.7 billion. On a like-to-like basis, EBITDA decreased 39% in the fourth quarter and decreased 25% for the full year of 2009.

Financial and operational highlights

  • The decline in sales in the quarter was primarily attributable to lower volumes and prices, mainly from US and Spanish operations.
  • The infrastructure sector continues to be the main driver of demand in most markets.
  • A number of leading indicators in several markets are showing signs of stabilisation and, in some, modest increases. For example, highway construction awards in the US have increased for the last 8 consecutive months of 2009 versus the previous year. Also, home prices in the US rose for the sixth straight month in November of 2009.
  • Operating income on a like-to-like basis in the fourth quarter decreased 75%, to US$98 million, from the comparable period in 2008 and decreased 38% to US$1.2 billion for the full-year 2009.
  • Free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures for the quarter was US$401 million, down 15% from US$474 million in the same quarter of 2008. For the full-year 2009, free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures was down 53%, to US$1.2 billion.
  • Net debt at the end of the fourth quarter was US$15.1 billion, representing a decrease of US$2 billion during the quarter.

Hector Medina, Executive Vice President of Finance and Legal, said: “During the fourth quarter and throughout 2009, we have been faced with the continuing global economic slowdown and a challenging business environment. However, following our debt refinancing, our equity capital issuance, the sale of our Australian operations and through our global cost-reduction efforts, we believe we are strategically aligned as a leaner and more agile company and will be able to successfully adapt to the changes in economic environment. Looking forward, we remain focused on paying down debt and regaining our financial flexibility.”

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