Mexico: Mexican building materials company Cemex has declared 2012 to have been a year of 'recovery' with the announcement of rising earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and rising operating earnings. EBITDA rose by 10% to US$2.62bn from US$2.37bn. Net operating earnings before other expenses rose by 35% to US$1.31bn from US$0.97bn. However, net sales fell by 2% to US$15bn in 2012 from US$15.2bn in 2011.
"During the year we achieved the highest EBITDA generation and operating EBITDA margin since 2009 and the fourth quarter was the sixth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year EBITDA increase. We are particularly pleased with the quarterly performance of our operations in the United States and the South, Central America and Caribbean and Asia regions," said Fernando A González, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration. Cemex said that infrastructure and residential sectors were the main drivers of demand in most of its markets.
For the fourth quarter of 2012 Cemex's performance was more muted. Net sales remained static year-on-year at US$3.71bn. EBITDA rose by 13% to US$611m from US$540m. Net operating earnings before other expenses rose by 26% to US$285m from US$227m.
Cemex produced 65.8Mt of cement in 2012, a 1% decrease from 66.8Mt in 2011. This drop was more pronounced in the fourth quarter. Cemex produced 15.8Mt in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 3% decrease from 16.3Mt in 2011.
By region, net sales in Mexico decreased by 3% to US$3.38bn in 2012 from US$3.47bn in 2011. In the fourth quarter sales increased by 2% year-on-year. In the US sales increased by 17% to US$3.06bn from US$2.62bn. In Northern Europe sales fell by 13% to US$4.1bn from US$4.73bn, led by a 15% decline in Poland. In Cemex's Mediterranean region sales fell by 15% to US$1.46bn form US$1.72bn, led by a 40% decline in Spain. Operations in South, Central America and the Caribbean reported an increase in sales of 20% to US$2.09bn from US$1.75bn. In Asia sales rose by 7% to US$542m from US$505m, with the Philippines performing well with 12% growth.