Net sales grow 13% and EBITDA up15% in dollar terms during 1999 fourth quarter
January 26, 2000
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that its net sales for the fourth quarter of 1999 were US$1.237 billion, 13% higher in dollar terms versus the fourth quarter of 1998. In real peso terms, net sales grew 8% to $11.763 billion pesos.
EBITDA totaled US$440 million during the fourth quarter, a 15% increase in dollar terms compared to the same period of 1998. In real peso terms, EBITDA for the fourth quarter grew 10%, to $4.185 billion pesos.
For the year ended December 31, 1999 net sales reached US$4.828 billion, up 12% in dollar terms versus 1998; while EBITDA rose 21%, to US$1.791 billion. In real peso terms, net sales increased 7% versus 1998, to $45.914 billion pesos, and EBITDA was 16% higher, at $17.037 billion pesos.
Héctor Medina, Executive Vice President of Planning and Finance, said: “Our 1999 consolidated results surpassed our original expectations. Strong domestic demand and pricing in CEMEX´s North American operations, and the integration of strategic acquisitions in Asia, leveraged net sales and EBITDA. We are also pleased to have exceeded our targets for financial ratios, which, together with our strong free cash flow generation, position CEMEX to keep taking advantage of profitable growth opportunities.”
CEMEX´s consolidated free cash flow for the fourth quarter of 1999 was US$171 million, 8% lower than a year ago. For full-year 1999, free cash flow summed US$860 million, up 54% vis-à-vis 1998, or 48% in real peso terms, to $8.178 billion pesos.
Operating income for the fourth quarter of 1999 rose 13% in dollars terms, to US$339 million, or 8% in real terms to $3.226 billion pesos. Operating margin was 27.4% for the quarter, compared to 27.5% for the same period of 1998. For the full year, operating income grew 22% measured in dollars, to US$1.436 billion, or 17% in real peso terms, to $13.661 billion pesos.
CEMEX´s majority net income during the fourth quarter decreased 50% in dollar terms to US$165 million (US$0.65 per CPO ADS), or 52% in real peso terms to $1.571 billion pesos ($6.05 pesos per CPO ADS). Majority net income for 1999 was US$973 million (US$3.90 per CPO ADS), up 21% vis-à-vis 1998, while in real peso terms it grew 16%, to $9.249 billion pesos ($36.90 pesos per CPO ADS).
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) increased to 3.57 times for the year, versus 3.03 times in 1998. Leverage, as defined by Net Debt to Trailing Twelve Month EBITDA, was 2.68 times, down from 3.08 times reported for 1998.
On a worldwide basis, CEMEX´s consolidated cement volumes for the fourth quarter were 16% higher in relation to the same quarter of 1998, while ready-mix volumes declined 1%. For full-year 1999, cement volumes increased 10% compared to 1998, and ready-mix volumes were 5% lower.
CEMEX´s North America region (which includes the Mexican and U.S. operations) had net sales of US$753 million for the fourth quarter of 1999, 22% higher in dollar terms versus the same period of 1998. The region´s EBITDA was US$320 million, up 17%. For the full year, net sales for the region grew 24% versus 1998, to US$2.922 billion, while EBITDA increased 30%, to US$1.314 billion.
South America & Caribbean region´s net sales were US$243 million during the fourth quarter, a 5% growth compared to the corresponding year-ago quarter, and EBITDA rose 18% to US$85 million. For the full year, net sales were US$988 million, a 5% decrease versus 1998, and EBITDA was 3% lower, at US$333 million.
Net sales for the Europe & Asia region totaled US$218 million for the fourth quarter of 1999, up 1% in relation to the fourth quarter of 1998, while EBITDA grew 9% to US$84 million. On a yearly basis, the region´s net sales of US$885 million remained practically steady, and EBITDA increased 5% to US$332 million.
Founded in 1906, CEMEX is one of the three largest cement companies in the world with approximately 65 million metric tons of production capacity. Through operating subsidiaries positioned in four 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.