Profit Rises Despite Storms, Quakes For Concrete Maker Cemex

October 26, 2017

Mexican construction materials maker Cemex posted a small increase in profits over the last three months, thanks to higher sales and lower financial costs that helped offset the impact of natural disasters in Mexico and the U.S.

The company, which is based in Monterrey and operates four cement plants between Phoenix and Tucson, said Thursday that it made a net profit of $289 million from July to September, up 1 percent from a year before.

Chief Executive Fernando Gonzalez told investors on a conference call that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma suspended operations for at least a week at plants in Texas and Florida. He said production was not impacted by two earthquakes in Central Mexico.

The company is eyeing opportunities during reconstruction efforts. Fernandez, quoting government figures, told investors in a conference call that about 50,000 homes were completely lost after the earthquakes. Re-construction efforts will represent a demand of 500,000 tons of cement over the next 12 to 18 months, Fernandez said.

Maher Al-Haffar, Cemex’s vice president for investor relations, told investors that the company will make up for lost activity during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and that he expects an increase in construction demand in the affected areas.

“It’s very difficult to guesstimate right now, but clearly there will be some reconstruction activity,” Al-Haffar said. “It will vary, obviously, from Houston to Florida, but it’s not going to be insignificant. It will be an important number.”