First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
A CEMEX mixer at work in Mexico City's historic Zócalo square
CEMEX like-for-like net sales increased by 8% to US$3.7billion in the third quarter, the biggest year-on-year quarterly increase since Q1 2014.
Operating EBITDA at the global construction materials group also increased by 2% like-for-like in Q3 to US$704million, compared with Q3 2017.
The increase in quarterly net sales was due to higher prices of CEMEX products in local currency terms in most of its regions, as well as higher volumes in Mexico, the US, and the Europe and Asia, Middle East & Africa regions.
CEMEX CEO Fernando Gonzalez said he was encouraged by the results, which were underpinned by healthy volume and pricing dynamics in the company's three core products (cement, ready -mix concrete and aggregates) across most of its portfolio.
"We are pleased with our operations in Mexico and the United States, with strong growth in year-over-year volumes for our three core products and improved prices," Gonzalez said. "In our Europe region, prices continued to improve with growth in ready-mix and aggregates volumes. In addition, in our Asia, Middle East and Africa region we saw volumes and prices in the Philippines rising in the mid-single digits as well as a double-digit increase in cement prices in Egypt."
He added that progress has also been made on the 'A Stronger CEMEX' plan, with more than US$60m in assets being sold during the quarter. Total debt plus perpetuals reduced by US$254m.
Net sales in CEMEX operations in Mexico, on a like-to-like basis, increased 15% in Q3 to US$857m. Operating EBITDA, on a like-to-like basis increased by 5% to US$303 million in the quarter, versus the same period of last year.
CEMEX’s US operations reported net sales of US$999m in Q3, an increase of 11% on a like-to-like basis from the same period in 2017. Operating EBITDA increased by 12% on a like-to-like basis to US$178 million versus the same quarter of 2017.
In South, Central America and the Caribbean net sales totalled US$442m during Q3, a decline of 1% on a like-to-like basis over the same period of 2017. Operating EBITDA decreased by 14% on a like-to-like basis to US$97m in the third quarter of 2018, from US$114m in the same quarter of 2017.
In Europe, Q3 net sales increased by 6% on a like-to-like basis compared with Q3 2017, reaching US$991m. Operating EBITDA was US$135m for the quarter, 6% higher than the same period last year on a like-to-like basis.
Operations in Asia, Middle East and Africa reported a 7% increase in net sales for Q3 to US$359m, versus the same quarter of 2017 on a like-to-like basis. Operating EBITDA for the quarter was US$50m, 11% lower like-for-like than Q3 2017.