Builders' Merchants News

Cemex first quarter decline

Published:  15 May, 2009

MEXICO: Cemex produced its first quarter reports for 2009. It announced that consolidated net sales decreased 32% in the first quarter of 2009 to US$3.7bn against the comparable period in 2008 while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation decreased 25% in the first quarter of 2009 to US$712m against the same period of 2008.

Operational highlights


  • Lower sales in the quarter were attributed to lower volumes, the exclusion of the Venezuelan operations, and the sale of our assets in the Canary Islands.
  • EBITDA margin increased from 17.6% in the first quarter of 2008 to 19.5% this quarter.
  • Selling, general, and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales decreasedfrom 21.0% to 19.7%, mainly as a result of cost-reduction initiatives.
  • Free cashflow after maintenance capital expenditures for the quarter was US$118m, down 76% from US$487m in the same quarter of 2008.
  • Operating income in the first quarter decreased 29%, to US$326m, from the comparable period in 2008.


Hector Medina, executive vice president of planning and finance, said: "Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment and the continued decline in construction activity in our markets, we remain confident in our strong global franchise and the underlying fundamentals of our business.

"Our ongoing efforts to reduce costs and optimise the efficiency of our operations are progressing well. We are continuing to engage in constructive refinancing talks with our key lenders in an effort to more quickly achieve financial flexibility."

Geographical markets Q1 highlights

Operations in the UK experienced a 43% decrease in net sales, to $267m, when compared with the same quarter of 2008. EBITDA decreased 10% to US$6.6m.

Net sales in the rest of Europe region decreased 39% during the first quarter of 2009 reaching $605m. EBITDA was a negative US$2.3m.

Net sales in operations in Mexico decreased 15% in the first quarter of 2009 to US$775m, compared with US$915m in the same period of 2008. EBITDA decreased 17% to US$288m against the same period last year.

Cemex's operations in the US reported net sales of US$726m in the first quarter of 2009, down 39%, EBITDA decreased 80% to US$32m, from US$164m in the first quarter of 2008.