Cemex announced that consolidated net sales increased by 8 percent during the first quarter of 2018 to $3.4 billion versus the comparable period in 2017.
The increase in quarterly consolidated net sales was due to higher prices of its products, in local currency terms in Mexico, the United States and its Europe and Asia, Middle East and Africa regions, as well as higher volumes in its U.S. and our Asia, Middle East and Africa regions.
Operating earnings before other expenses, net, in the first quarter decreased by 5 percent, to $332 million.
Fernando A. Gonzalez, chief executive officer of Cemex, said, “The first quarter of 2018 was characterized by solid operating results with good consolidated daily volumes and improved pricing performance, both sequentially and on a year-over-year basis. However, our EBITDA generation during the quarter was affected by seasonal effects, including adverse weather in our European and U.S. operations, fewer business days and an inventory costing-variation effect. We expect the impact of the fewer business days and the inventory effect to revert in upcoming months while we should recover most of the pent-up demand caused by adverse weather to be recovered during the rest of the year.
“For the rest of 2018, we expect favorable consolidated volumes and improving pricing dynamics in most of our markets. This, together with an expected moderation in our energy cost increases and our initiatives to contain other costs, should translate into increased operating EBITDA generation for the full year,” Gonzalez concluded.
Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of $856 million in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 7 percent on a like-to-like basis from the same period in 2017. Operating EBITDA decreased by 4 percent on a like-to-like basis to $109 million versus the same quarter of 2017.
Net sales in our operations in Mexico increased 10 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to $800 million, compared with $725 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Cemex’s operations in South, Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of $464 million during the first quarter of 2018, representing a decrease of 3 percent over the same period of 2017. Operating EBITDA decreased by 21 percent to $105 million in the first quarter of 2018, from $133 million in the same quarter of 2017.
In Europe, net sales for the first quarter of 2018 increased by 9 percent to US$805 million, compared with US$737 million in the first quarter of 2017. Operating EBITDA was US$15 million for the quarter, 52 percent lower than the same period last year.
Operations in Asia, Middle East and Africa reported a 15 percent increase in net sales for the first quarter of 2018, to $375 million, versus the same quarter of 2017. Operating EBITDA for the quarter was $62 million, 3 percent lower than the same period last year.