September 30, 2023

Cemex LatAm Holdings Reports 2Q 2020 Rebound in Profits

Colombia-based cement/concrete giant Cemex LatAm Holdings announced July 27 that its second quarter (2Q) 2020 net income rose to US$11 million, up from a net loss of US$4 million in 2Q 2019.

The profit boost came despite a 36% drop in sales and a 32% decline in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), according to the company.

“However, the operating flow margin was higher by 1.4 percentage points due to a proactive cost containment plan in all of our businesses and geographies” during the Covid-19 crisis, according to the company.

While EBITDA income declined, EBITDA margin improved by 1.4 percentage points, to 19.7%, “mainly due to a proactive cost control plan,” according to Cemex.

While 2Q cement volumes fell 33% year-on-year, “volumes recovered significantly in June, doubling the volumes sold during April [2020],” according to the company.

“Quarterly consolidated cement prices improved by 4%, compared to the same period of the previous year, and they remained stable sequentially, in terms of local currency.

Cemex LatAm also generated US$25 million of free cash flow and reduced its net debt by US$28 million during the latest quarter.

Commenting on the results, company general director Jesús González added: “With the support of our health and safety culture, as well as our more than 50 biosafety protocols, we are executing our operations safely and effectively in a Covid-19 world.

“Despite the fact that our volumes were significantly impacted by the measures to contain the pandemic, we reacted quickly and made significant achievements in the second quarter,” he added.

In Colombia, EBITDA fell 32% year-on-year, to US$12 million. Net sales decreased 45% to US$67 million as measured in dollar terms, and down 36% in local Colombian peso terms.

However, “fourth generation” highway construction projects were restarted during the latest quarter. As a result, “we expect the industry’s demand for concrete to reach 1.2 million cubic meters during 2020, 50% higher compared to 2019,” according to Cemex.

“In Bogotá, projects already awarded should start soon, such as three hospitals, Transmilenio [mass transit system] extensions and a water treatment plant. ‘Regiotram’ metro and train projects should start consuming cement next year

“For 2021, the [national] government is proposing a 10% increase, compared to 2020, in the physical investment budget, including road infrastructure, water plants, housing, among others,” the company added.

In Colombia’s residential, industrial and commercial sectors, “demand for cement from the self-construction sector recovered significantly during June,” according to Cemex.

As for the residential housing sector, “we are encouraged by the government’s announcement of 200,000 subsidies for new low- and middle-income housing in the next two years.”

On the other hand, “recent trends, such as telecommuting, restricted travel, and increased online shopping, could reduce demand for offices, hotels, and retail spaces,” the company added.

As for Panama operations, net sales fell 86% year-on-year, to US$7 million, according to the company.

In Costa Rica, EBITDA fell 27% year-on-year, to US$7 million. Net sales fell 26%, to US$20 million.

In the rest-of-Cemex LatAm markets (including Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala), EBITDA increased 29% in dollar terms or 31% in local currency terms, to US$20 million for 2Q 2020. “Quarterly net sales reached US$56 million, an increase of 1% in local currency terms or stable in dollar terms,” according to the company.

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