Argentina: Loma Negra’s sales of cement, masonry and lime fell by 26% year-on-year to 1.13Mt in first quarter of 2020. The decline was driven by the coronavirus lockdown in Argentina, where the subsidiary of Brazil’s InterCement has most of its sales. Concrete and aggregate sales volumes declined also. The company’s new revenue dropped by 29.6% to US$115m and its adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 17.9% to US$38.6m. However, the company’s accountant adjustment for use in so-called ‘hyperinflationary economies’ made a negative impact on these figures. With this adjustment removed both revenue and earnings reportedly rose in the first quarter.
“By the end of the first quarter the coronavirus broke out, bringing additional challenges to the already adverse background,” said Sergio Faifman, Loma Negra’s chief executive officer (CEO). He added that cement demand in Argentina nationally contracted by around 29% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020.
The cement producer temporarily suspended its production facilities and its L´Amalí Expansion project in late March 2020 due to the government lockdown. Production and dispatches of cement were restarted in early April 2020 following the implementation of new sanitation protocols. The company has now resumed working on its upgrade project at L´Amalí.