About Us - Press Release - CEMEX provides guidance for the first quarter of 2002
March 22, 2002
CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today, in accordance with its practice of providing quarterly guidance, that it expects EBITDA for the quarter ending March 31st, 2002 to reach approximately US$460 million. CEMEX also expects to achieve cash earnings of about US$310 million during the same period versus US$322 million a year ago.
CEMEX expects to experience a 5% decline in cement sales volumes in Mexico reflecting fewer business days versus the same period last year as a result of earlier occurrence of religious holidays, which last year took place during the second quarter. Adjusting for the fewer business days, volumes are expected to be flat when compared to the same period a year ago. Cement sales volumes in the United States and Spain are expected to grow at a low single-digit rate versus the same period last year resulting from a strong public sector and mild winter conditions.
During the quarter, CEMEX also successfully refinanced the US$650 million in preferred equity issued in connection with the Southdown acquisition into 2004. CEMEX also launched a tender offer for any and all of its outstanding 12¾% Notes due 2006 and any and all of the outstanding 9.66% Putable Capital Securities.
Rodrigo Treviño, Chief Financial Officer said: "This guidance is in line with our original expectations for the first quarter. We are encouraged by what appears to be a sooner than expected macroeconomic recovery in our major markets, which was forecast for the second half of the year. During the quarter, our cash earnings will continue to benefit from lower debt and lower borrowing costs versus the first quarter of last year which will help to partially offset the weaker EBITDA. Our refinancing initiatives should result in a further reduction in our average cost of borrowing supporting our target of reducing average interest cost by 150 bps for 2002 when compared to 2001. This should lead to a reduction in our cost of capital and enhance the value creation for CEMEX's shareholders."
CEMEX expects to release its 2002 first quarter results on April 22, 2002 and host its conference call on April 23, 2002.
CEMEX is a leading global producer and marketer of cement and ready-mix products, with operations concentrated in the world's most dynamic cement markets across four continents. CEMEX combines a deep knowledge of the local markets with its global network and information technology systems to provide world-class products and services to its customers, from individual homebuilders to large industrial contractors. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information that are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of CEMEX to be materially different from those expressed or implied in this release, including, among others, changes in general economic, political, governmental and business conditions globally and in the countries in which CEMEX does business, changes in interest rates, changes in inflation rates, changes in exchange rates, the level of construction generally, changes in cement demand and prices, changes in raw material and energy prices, changes in business strategy and various other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein.
EBITDA is defined as operating income plus depreciation and amortization. Free cash flow is defined as EBITDA minus net interest expense, capital expenditures, increase or decrease in working capital, cash taxes, preferred equity dividend payments, employee profit-sharing payments paid in cash, U.S. dumping charges paid in cash and other cash items. Net debt is defined as total on balance sheet debt plus preferred equity and capital securities minus cash and cash equivalents. Cash earnings is defined as EBITDA minus net financial expenses, cash taxes (including statutory profit sharing), income attributable to minority interest (including preferred dividends) and other cash expenses. All of these items are presented under Mexican generally accepted accounting principles.