Cemex announced that, on a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations and adjusting for currency fluctuations, consolidated net sales increased by 4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 to $3.5 billion, and increased 6 percent for the full year 2018 to $14.4 billion versus the comparable periods in 2017.
The increase in quarterly consolidated net sales on a like-to-like basis was due to higher prices of its products, in local currency terms in all of its regions, as well as higher volumes mainly in the ready-mix and aggregates businesses in Mexico and the United States.
Operating earnings before other expenses, net, in the fourth quarter remained flat at $396 million and increased by 2 percent, to $1.7 billion, for the full year 2018, both on a like-to-like basis.
“We are pleased with our 6 percent top-line growth during 2018, supported by higher consolidated volumes and prices in our three core products. Operating EBITDA grew by 1 percent on a like-to-like basis in this period,” said Fernando A. Gonzalez, chief executive officer of Cemex.
“During 2018, we generated more than $900 million in free cash flow after maintenance capex, with a strong EBITDA-to-free-cash-flow conversion rate, which allowed us to reduce our total debt by 8 percent, or close to $1 billion. We also made significant advances under our A Stronger Cemex plan during the second half of last year and are on track to achieve our 2019 and 2020 targets under this program.”
Results in specific regions include:
- Operations in the United States reported net sales of $905 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 8 percent on a like-to-like basis from the same period in 2017. Operating EBITDA increased by 6 percent on a like-to-like basis to $168 million versus the same quarter of 2017.
- Net sales for operations in Mexico, on a like-to-like basis, increased 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $776 million. Operating EBITDA, on a like-to-like basis remained flat at $265 million in the quarter, versus the same period of last year.
- Operations in South, Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of $425 million during the fourth quarter of 2018, a decline of 6 percent on a like-to-like basis over the same period of 2017. Operating EBITDA decreased by 8 percent on a like-to-like basis to $93 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, from $105 million in the same quarter of 2017.