CEMEX serves up cement with a multicultural accent. The subsidiary of Mexico-based CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. is one of the largest cement companies in the US, as well as the largest ready-mix company. In addition to cement and ready-mix, CEMEX also makes and sells concrete block and aggregates. It serves customers through nearly 15 cement plants, more than 330 ready-mix plants, about 50 cement terminals, and 95 aggregate quarries around the country. The United States accounts for about 20% of the Mexican company's revenue. The parent company operates in more than 50 countries around the world.
A steep downturn in demand for building materials in the US hurt CEMEX during the recession. Sales fell in the United States by about 40% in 2009 alone, and the company was forced to suspend operations at several plants. As of 2009 CEMEX had closed nearly 40% of its ready-mix concrete plans, about half of its concrete block plans and around 30% of its aggregates quarries in the US.
As part of group-wide efforts to cut costs and reduce debt from numerous acquisitions, CEMEX sold noncore facilities. In 2010 the company sold a dozen quarries operated by Ready Mix USA LLC (CEMEX's joint venture with Ready Mix USA) for $420 million. CEMEX also sold seven quarries, three distribution centers, and a manufacturing plant (all in Kentucky) to Bluegrass Materials for $90 million.
In 2011 CEMEX announced a dea to swap some assets in Texas with TXI. As part of the deal CEMEX USA received seven ready mix concrete plants in the Houston area and TXI acquired three ready mix plants in Austin. Both areas were not as hard hit by the construction downturn.
The company has taken such steps to better position itself for the economic recovery. CEMEX expects demand to recover with help from government-funded infrastructure projects and a rebound in the housing industry. – less