Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. announced that consolidated net sales (on a like-to-like basis for ongoing operations and adjusting for currency fluctuations) increased by 5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014 to approximately $3.8 billion and increased 6 percent for the full year to $15.7 billion versus the comparable periods in 2013. Operating EBITDA on a like-to-like basis increased by 16 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014 to $701 million and increased 6 percent for the full year to $2.7 billion versus 2013.
The consolidated net sales increase was due to higher prices of products, in most operations, as well as higher volumes in Mexico, United States, Mediterranean, Asia and the South, Central America and Caribbean regions, stated the company in a press release.
Fernando A. Gonzalez, chief executive officer, said: “During 2014, we reported a narrower controlling interest net loss for the third consecutive year and 40 percent lower than in 2013. Our operating EBITDA on a like-to-like basis grew by 16 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014 and by 6 percent for the full year 2014 versus the comparable periods in 2013. We are pleased with the growth in volumes and local-currency prices for our products in most of our regions, reflecting the continued positive outcome of our value-before-volume strategy.
“We generated the highest quarterly and annual free cash flow since the second quarter of 2009 and the full year 2010, respectively. We continue to improve our debt maturity profile and interest expense through our debt reduction of close to $1.2 billion and our refinancing activities of approximately $5 billion during the year. We are encouraged with the way our credit continues to re-rate.”
Net sales in operations in Mexico increased 5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $827 million, compared with $785 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Operating EBITDA increased by 3 percent to $255 million versus the same period of last year.
Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of $923 million in the fourth quarter, up 13 percent from the same period in 2013. Operating EBITDA increased 78 percent to $138 million in the quarter, versus $77 million in the same quarter of 2013.
Operations in South, Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of $514 million during the fourth quarter of 2014, representing a decrease of 11 percent over the same period of 2013. Operating EBITDA decreased 9 percent to $165 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, from $183 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, controlling interest net income was a loss of $178 million, an improvement over a loss of $255 million in the same period last year. Total debt plus perpetual notes decreased by $658 million during the quarter. Reuters reported that Gonzalez said Cemex could sell part of its business in northern Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia as well as sell 5 to 10 percent of its subsidiary Cemex Latam Holdings, as it seeks to pay down debt.