Mexican cement maker Cemex’s net profit in the fourth quarter more than doubled | Investment News

(Reuters) – Mexican cement producer Cemex’s fourth-quarter net profit rose about 179% to $195 million on lower financial charges, a positive change in financial instruments and foreign exchange results and lower income tax, the company said Thursday.

Its quarterly revenue increased to $3.62 billion from $3.5 billion a year earlier as higher local currency pricing across all regions contributed to revenue growth, it said. Cemex said in its earnings release.

Operating EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, rose 18% to $2.86 billion, missing Refinitiv’s estimate of $2.94 billion. For the fourth quarter, EBITDA increased 3% to $651 million.

Cemex said it expects mid-single-digit operating EBITDA growth in 2022.

The Monterrey-based industrial giant said in October that supply chain slowdowns and project delays could affect its full-year operating profit.

“Cemex has made significant progress on its investment grade target, reducing its leverage ratio from 1.4x, to 2.73x in 2021,” said the company, one of the world’s largest concrete suppliers.

Cemex told Reuters last year it was investing in renewable energy and alternative fuels to meet its climate targets.

In 2021, its CO2 emissions fell by 4.4 percentage points, “our lowest level of carbon emissions on record and our largest annual year-over-year decline,” the director said. General of Cemex, Fernando A. Gonzalez.

The company recently announced that it has made progress in using solar energy to produce clinker, a mixture of limestone and clay, and that it will use a sustainable waste management plant to power some operations in Mexico.

Looking ahead, Cemex said it expects 2022 consolidated volume growth to be flat for cement, and expects low-single-digit growth for ready-mix and growth at a low to medium figure for aggregates.

The company added that it is “entering 2022 with minimal financial risk” and has no funding needs for the next 3 years, with an average maturity of $800 million per year for the next 10 years.

The performance of companies like Cemex is closely watched as a barometer of the wider economy, as cement is essential for the construction industry.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru and Anthony Esposito; editing by Mark Porter and Alexandra Hudson)

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