Cemex announced that consolidated net sales reached $3.2 billion during the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 3 percent on a like-to-like basis for the ongoing operations and adjusting for currency fluctuations, versus the comparable period in 2015. Operating EBITDA increased 12 percent on a like-to-like basis during the quarter to $583 million versus the same period in 2015.
The increase in consolidated net sales was due to higher prices of products, in local currency terms, in most of the company’s operations, as well as higher volumes in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Middle East and Africa regions.
On a like-to-like basis, operating earnings before other expenses, net, in the first quarter increased 19 percent to $358 million versus the comparable period in 2015. Controlling interest net income improved to $35 million during the first quarter of 2016 from a loss of $149 million in the same period last year.
Fernando A. Gonzalez, Cemex chief executive officer, said: “We continue to see favorable results from the implementation of our value-before-volume strategy, with increases in sequential pricing in our three core products. Higher consolidated prices led to a like-to-like increase in net sales of 3 percent. Prices increased more than our costs and we had a favorable operating leverage in many of our markets leading to a 12 percent increase in EBITDA on a like-to-like basis, as well as an EBITDA margin expansion of 1.2 percentage points. We are particularly pleased with both our free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures and our net income being positive in a first quarter for the first time in seven years.”
Net sales in operations in Mexico decreased 17 percent in the first quarter of 2016 to $633 million, compared with $766 million in the first quarter of 2015. Operating EBITDA decreased by 13 percent to $227 million versus the same period of last year.
Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of $920 million in the first quarter of 2016, up 6 percent from the same period in 2015. Operating EBITDA increased 71 percent to $109 million in the quarter, versus the comparable period of 2015.
Operations in South, Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of $422 million during the first quarter of 2016, representing a decrease of 10 percent over the same period of 2015. Operating EBITDA decreased 8 percent to $136 million in the first quarter of 2016, from $148 million in the first quarter of 2015.