Cemex SAB de CV (ADR)(NYSE:CX) reported that consolidated net sales came at U.S.$3.5 billion during the Q3 2017, showcasing a jump of 2%, or a growth of 1% on a like-to-like basis for the current operations and adjusting for currency changes, as compared to the comparable period in 2016. Operating EBITDA dropped by 8% during the quarter to U.S.$702 million over the same period in 2016.
Cemex reported that the jump in consolidated net sales in Q3 2017 was due to higher prices for company products in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as higher cement volumes in Europe, Asia Middle East and the U.S. and Africa regions. Controlling interest net income during the reported quarter came at U.S.$289 million compared to U.S.$286 million in the comparable period last year. Operating earnings before other expenses in the third quarter dropped 9% to U.S.$494 million over the same period of 2016.
Cemex announced that operating EBITDA dropped during the third quarter by 8% to U.S.$702 million. Operating EBITDA margin dropped by 2.2% on a YoY basis hitting 19.8%, showcasing in part freight costs and higher energy, higher costs in raw materials in some of their ready-mix operations, and the impact of lower volumes.
Free cash flow post maintenance capital expenditures for the third quarter came at U.S.$435 million, versus U.S.$548 million in the comparable quarter of 2016. Fernando A. Gonzalez, the CEO of Cemex, expressed that they are delighted with the double-digit, year-to-date development in operating EBITDA in their two leading markets – the U.S. and Mexico, which showcase around two-thirds of their total EBITDA generation.
In addition, the debt leverage during the third quarter reached 3.98 times. This is the first time that company’s leverage ratio declined below 4 times since the Q3 2008. This will continue leading to further savings in their financial expenses.