Net sales increased 11% and operating cash flow increased 25% in dollar terms during the fourth quarter of 1998
February 16, 1999
CEMEX S.A. de C.V. (CMXBY: OTC) announced today that its net sales in the fourth quarter of 1998 increased 9% in real terms to Ps. 10.856 billion versus the same quarter of 1997. In dollar terms, net sales increased 11% in the fourth quarter to US$1.097 billion. During 1998 net sales were 11% higher (14% in dollar terms) compared to 1997, reaching Ps. 42.720 billion (US$4.315 billion).
EBITDA increased 22% in real terms during the fourth quarter to Ps. 3.804 billion. In dollar terms, EBITDA grew 25% to US$384 million during the fourth quarter. EBITDA from January to December 1998 grew 21% to Ps. 14.697 billion, or 24% measured in dollars to US$1.485 billion.
Cash earnings (EBITDA less net interest expense) in the fourth quarter grew 42% in real terms versus the prior year, to Ps. 2.766 billion (Ps. 4.52 per ADR), or 45% in dollar terms to US$279 million (US$0.46 per ADR). For the year, cash earnings increased 40% to Ps. 10.263 billion (Ps. 16.78 per ADR) or 45% in dollar terms to US$1.037 billion (US$1.70 per ADR). The ADR ratio is two ordinary shares per ADR.
Operating income increased 24% to Ps. 2.980 billion (US$301 million) in the fourth quarter 1998 and 28% for the full year to Ps. 11.660 billion (US$1.178 billion). Operating margin was 27.5% during the fourth quarter, versus 23.9% for the year ago period. The operating margin for the year was 27.3% as compared to 23.6% in 1997.
Majority net income during the fourth quarter of 1998 increased 78% to Ps. 3.287 billion (including monetary position gains of Ps. 1.389 billion) or US$332 million. For the full year 1998, majority net income was Ps. 7.952 billion or US$803 million (including monetary gains of Ps. 5.582 billion).
Interest plus preferred dividend coverage (EBITDA before operating lease payments and cost restatements for inflation divided by interest expense plus dividend on preferred capital securities) was 3.03 times for the trailing twelve months versus 2.41 times a year ago. Leverage as defined by net debt to trailing twelve month EBITDA declined to 3.09 times versus 3.97 times at the end of 1997.
Rodrigo Treviño, chief financial officer of CEMEX, said: "We are pleased with CEMEX´ record performance for 1998. Our cash earnings per ADR of US$1.70 per ADR (45% over 1997) and our free cash flow per ADR of US$0.97 (79% over 1997) confirms the strength of our business and financial strategies. We are ready to meet the challenges of volatile markets and to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead".
Founded in 1906, CEMEX is one of the three largest cement companies in the world with close to 59 million metric tons of production capacity. Through operating subsidiaries positioned in three different continents, CEMEX is engaged in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and clinker. In addition, the Company is the world´s leading producer of white cement and the world´s largest trader of cement and clinker.