CEMEX, S.A. DE C.V.

CEMEX, S.A. DE C.V.

March 14, 2005 01:04 ET

CEMEX Provides Guidance for the First Quarter of 2005


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: CEMEX, S.A. DE C.V.

NYSE SYMBOL: CX

MARCH 14, 2005 - 01:04 ET

CEMEX Provides Guidance for the First Quarter of 2005

MONTERREY, Mexico--(CCNMatthews - Mar 14, 2005) -

CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE:CX) announced today that it expects EBITDA for
the quarter ending March 31, 2005 to remain flat at about US$560
million, reflecting fewer business days versus the same period last year
as a result of the earlier occurrence of religious holidays, which last
year took place during the second quarter. On a like-to-like basis,
adjusting for the fewer business days, EBITDA would be expected to
increase by about 5% in the quarter versus the year earlier period.
Revenue for the quarter is expected to exceed US$1.9 billion, a 5%
increase versus first quarter 2004, while operating income is expected
at about US$400 million, an increase of 2% versus the year earlier
period.

Rodrigo Trevino, Chief Financial Officer, said: "The fundamental drivers
of cement and ready-mix demand remain strong in most of our markets, and
we remain on track to achieve our full year guidance of EBITDA growth of
about 5% in 2005, excluding RMC and the effect of the previously
announced sale of assets in the United States, to more than US$2.6
billion. We are very pleased with the closing of the RMC transaction
during this first quarter, as it enhances our position as one of the
world's largest building materials companies, improving the balance of
our portfolio by diversifying cash flows and better positioning us for
profitable growth throughout the cycles."

CEMEX expects cement sales volumes in Mexico to decrease 7% versus the
same period last year, in line with the expected decline in national
cement consumption for the quarter. Adjusting for the fewer business
days this quarter, volumes would be expected to decline 2% when compared
to the same period a year ago. National cement consumption in Mexico has
been affected this quarter mainly by a 20% increase in rainfall during
the first two months of the year versus the same period last year.

The main driver of cement demand in Mexico year-to-date has been the
residential sector. Low-income housing continues with a strong
performance, and to a lesser extent, middle and high-income housing
supported by gradually increasing commercial bank financing. The
infrastructure sector remains stable and is expected to improve in the
second half of the year as a result of pre-electoral spending. The
self-construction sector continues to be weak due to the impact of
higher pricing in real terms of building material products versus last
year.

Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in the United States are
expected to remain flat for the quarter versus the same period a year
ago. Adjusting for one less shipping day this quarter, cement volumes
would be expected to increase 1% versus first quarter 2004. Cement and
ready-mix demand drivers continue to be strong, with increased spending
in infrastructure - particularly in streets and highways - and
industrial and commercial construction. However, unfavorable weather
conditions during the quarter, especially in the western United States,
have affected cement demand.

In February we announced the signing of an agreement to sell certain
assets in the Great Lakes region in the United States. The closing of
this transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions
precedent, and it is expected to occur during the next few weeks.

Cement sales volumes for CEMEX's operations in Spain are expected to
increase by about 1% versus the first quarter of last year. Adjusting
for the fewer business days this quarter, volumes would be expected to
increase by about 6% when compared to the same period a year ago The
main drivers of cement demand continue to be a strong residential
sector, fueled by a favorable interest rate environment, as well as a
healthy public works sector.

Guidance numbers are calculated on the basis of market close exchange
rates as of March 11, 2005. CEMEX will begin consolidating the RMC
operations starting March 1st, 2005, and as a result, will only
consolidate ten months of the year in 2005. Guidance for the first
quarter 2005 reflects CEMEX operations only, and excludes the results of
RMC operations for March.

CEMEX is a growing global building solutions company that provides
products of consistently high quality and reliable service to customers
and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The
company improves the well-being of those it serves through its
relentless focus on continuous improvement and efforts to promote a
sustainable future. For more information about the company, visit
www.cemex.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements and information
that are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions.
Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements
of CEMEX to be materially different from those expressed or implied in
this release, including, among others, changes in general economic,
political, governmental and business conditions globally and in the
countries in which CEMEX does business, changes in interest rates,
changes in inflation rates, changes in exchange rates, the level of
construction generally, changes in cement demand and prices, changes in
raw material and energy prices, changes in business strategy and various
other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties
materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual
results may vary materially from those described herein. CEMEX assumes
no obligation to update or correct the information contained in this
press release.

EBITDA is defined as operating income plus depreciation and
amortization. Free Cash Flow is defined as EBITDA minus net interest
expense, capital expenditures, change in working capital, taxes paid,
dividends on preferred equity and other cash items. Net debt is defined
as total debt plus equity obligations minus cash and cash equivalents.
All of the above items are presented under generally accepted accounting
principles in Mexico. EBITDA and Free Cash Flow (as defined above) are
presented herein because CEMEX believes that they are widely accepted as
financial indicators of CEMEX's ability to internally fund capital
expenditures and service or incur debt. EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should
not be considered as indicators of CEMEX's financial performance, as
alternatives to cash flow, as measures of liquidity or as being
comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    CEMEX, S.A. de C.V.
    Media Relations
    Jorge Perez, 52-81-8888-4334
    or
    Investor Relations
    Abraham Rodriguez, 52-81-8888-4262
    or
    Analyst Relations
    Ricardo Sales, 212-317-6008