Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. reported that, on a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations and adjusting for currency fluctuations, consolidated net sales increased by 7 percent during the second quarter of 2018 to $3.8 billion versus the comparable period in 2017.
The increase in quarterly consolidated net sales was due to higher prices of our products, in local currency terms in all of our regions, as well as higher volumes in Mexico, the United States, and its Europe and Asia, Middle East and Africa regions.
Fernando A. Gonzalez, chief executive officer of Cemex, said, “We are encouraged by the very favorable volume dynamics we saw in most of our portfolio during the quarter, with improvements in pricing which should translate into higher profitability during the second half of the year. Our operations in the U.S. and Europe indicate a strong sequential growth in volumes resulting from strong demand and pent-up activity after adverse weather conditions in the first quarter, as well as improved pricing dynamics. In Mexico, we are pleased with the year-over-year, double-digit growth in ready-mix and aggregates volumes and high-single-digit increase in prices. In addition, in our Asia, Middle East and Africa region, we saw a high-single-digit growth in cement volumes in the Philippines and Egypt with favorable sequential pricing dynamics.
“Our net income increased by 32 percent on a year-over-year basis, reaching $382 million during the quarter” Gonzalez continued. “In addition, our total debt plus perpetual notes declined by $462 million during the quarter, and by $6.6 billion since the end of 2013.
“With the objective of accelerating our path to investment grade and enhancing total shareholder return, today we are announcing ‘A Stronger Cemex’, a plan designed to reposition our portfolio toward higher growth,” Gonzalez said. “During the next 2.5 years, we will work to optimize our portfolio by focusing on markets with the greatest long-term growth potential and selling between $1.5 and $2 billion of assets. We will also implement actions to achieve $150 million in cost savings as an opportunity to continue improving our profitability. Furthermore, we will reduce our total debt by $3.5 billion by the end of 2020, and we will return capital to our shareholders through an annual cash dividend starting with $150 million in 2019.”
Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of $989 million in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 9 percent on a like-to-like basis from the same period in 2017. Operating EBITDA increased by 11 percent on a like-to-like basis to $189 million versus the same quarter of 2017.
Cemex’s operations in South, Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of $461 million during the second quarter of 2018, remaining flat on a like-to-like basis over the same period of 2017. Operating EBITDA decreased by 9 percent to $110 million in the second quarter of 2018, from $120 million in the same quarter of 2017.