Cemex reports 23% drop in net sales in 4Q08

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 30, 2009
Mexican cement firm Cemex (NYSE: CX) announced 4Q08 consolidated net sales of US$4.5bn, a 23% drop year-over-year. Operating income decreased 35% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to US$384mn year-over-year, according to a company release. The company reported a net loss of US$707mn in the fourth quarter. Ebitda fell 27% in 4Q08 to US$808mn. Lower sales in the quarter were attributed to lower volumes which were partly mitigated by better price resiliency in most of the firm's markets, the release said. The infrastructure sector was the main driver of demand in most of the markets. FULL YEAR For all of 2008, consolidated net sales remained flat at US$21.7bn compared to 2007. Ebitda decreased 5% for the full year to US$4.3bn. Operating income decreased 16% in 2008 compared to 2007. Net income for last year decreased 92% to US$203mn. "The year 2008 was one of extraordinary volatility in the financial markets and economic weakness that continues to spread throughout the global economy and the fourth quarter was one of the most difficult quarters in recent history. In response to the challenging times we are facing, we remain focused on paying down debt and improving the efficiency of our operations in order to strengthen our financial structure," executive VP of planning and finance Hector Medina said. Cemex operations in Mexico reported net sales of US$820mn in 4Q08, down 13% from the same period in 2007. Ebitda decreased 14% to US$302mn. In South America and the Caribbean, the firm reported net sales of US$378mn during the fourth quarter of 2008, representing a decrease of 28% from the same period in 2007. Ebitda decreased 29% for the quarter to US$121mn versus US$169mn in 2007.

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