Earnings in CEMEX’s Mexican business were up 8% in 4Q17 and 11% over the full year in a like-for-like basis, despite falls in sales volumes in each of the company’s three project categories. Earnings stood at US$277 million over the final three months of the year and US$1.145 billion over the full year.
Domestic grey cement volumes were down 4% over 4Q17 and 4% over the year. The fall in volumes was offset by a 17% increase in prices in US dollars over the quarter and 16% over the full year.
“Cement volumes during the year were supported by increased demand from the private sector, mitigated by lower infrastructure activity,” CEMEX said in its latest quarterly results.
“Our full year cement volumes underperformed the industry, because of the continued implementation of our value-before-volume strategy. However, during the fourth quarter, we saw an improvement in our estimated market position, compared to the third quarter.”
Ready-mixed concrete volumes were down 5% in the quarter and 3% over the full year, while aggregates volumes were down 2% in the quarter and 3% over the year.
The Mexican construction sector was supported by private sector investment through 2017. Growth in consumption and manufacturing activity saw increased investment in shopping malls, hotels, warehouses, as well as some manufacturing facilities. The formal residential market saw total investment for home acquisitions rise by 9% over the year to November, while activity in the self-build sector remained solid.
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