CBR
search
Employment

Trinidad Cement Limted Chairman Wilfred Espinet (right) answers questions from shareholders alongside then-Managing Director José Luis Seijo González (left) and Group Financial Manager Francisco Aguilera Mendoza during an annual general meeting at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s. (Photo: Roger Jacob)

Francisco Aguilera Mendoza is the new head of Trinidad Cement Limited

Trinidad Cement Limted Chairman Wilfred Espinet (right) answers questions from shareholders alongside then-Managing Director José Luis Seijo González (left) and Group Financial Manager Francisco Aguilera Mendoza during an annual general meeting at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s. (Photo: Roger Jacob)

Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCC) has advised that Francisco Aguilera Mendoza will replace Jose Luis Seijo Gonzalez, the majority shareholder of CCC, as chief executive officer of Trinidad Cement Limited, effective December 1, 2020.

Aguilera Mendoza currently serves as deputy chairman and is a member of the board of directors. He will continue to serve in that capacity, the company indicated.

Seijo Gonzalez has, meanwhile, been promoted. Holding the position of chief executive officer since May 4, 2015, he will now take up a post within the group of companies that form part of the Mexico-based cement giant CEMEX, SAB de CV, the company further advised.

A cement plant of Mexican cement maker CEMEX is pictured in Monterrey. (Photo: Reuters)

In 2017, CEMEX acquired enough shares to take control of TCL. The company indicated then that it would pay in excess of US$79 million to take control of the company, which had operations in Trinidad and Tobago,
Jamaica, and Barbados.

Growth in a time of COVID-19

TCL Group has seen notable growth in spite of the challenges attending to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, the Group recorded revenue of TT$483 million, a 17 per cent increase over Q3 2019. Cement sales volumes increased by 30 per cent in Jamaica, 20 per cent in Barbados and three per cent in Trinidad and Tobago when compared to Q3 2019, as some COVID-19 restrictions were lifted by some governments.

Trinidad Cement Limited (Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Guardian)

The TCL Group recorded revenue of TT $1.259 billion for the first nine months of 2020, a two per cent decrease versus the comparable period of
2019. The Group’s adjusted EBITDA of TT$135 million in Q3 2020 reflected an increase of 66 per cent compared with Q3 2019.

Company directors, in their comments on the period’s results, said the growth reflects the contribution of the new higher-margin business
segments in Trinidad and the positive impact of cost reduction strategies executed to stabilise business in the period of uncertainty due to
COVID-19.

Adjusted EBITDA increased eight per cent year-on-year to TT$329 million.
In Q3 2020, financial expenses of TT$31 million reflected an 18 per cent decrease compared with Q3 2019, primarily due to the reduction in
debt, the exchange rate movement of the Jamaican dollar, and lower USD-denominated debt.

A three-year strategy

Carib Cement Company Limited, the Jamaican subsidiary of Trinidad Cement Limited, realised a 30 per cent increase in sales during the third quarter of 2020.
(Photo courtesy of caribcement.com)

Directors noted that in the last three years, the company has made significant efforts to better align the currency of its debt with operating
earnings, thereby reducing foreign exchange risk.

The TCL Group earned net income from operations of TT$39 million for Q3 2020 compared with a loss of TT$23 million in Q3 2019.

Overall, the Group recorded net income of TT$49 million for the first nine months of 2020 compared with TT$10 million recorded in the same period of 2019, mainly resulting from a reduction in other operating expenses.

The Group generated TT$168 million in cash from operations in the third quarter, a 101 per cent increase from the prior year. Management said the improved cash flow results “from the increase in operating income, efficient working capital management and stringent management of all other discretionary cash flow items.”

They also noted that capital expenditure during the quarter was restricted to essential maintenance and projects, with all other projects deferred for
the time being. The TCL Group used $150 million in the quarter to reduce debt, in keeping with its deleveraging goal.

Management stated, “While we believe we have seen the worst in terms of government-mandated lockdown measures, the short-term outlook for the business will depend on the trajectory of the outbreak as well as the depth
of the economic slowdown and the timing of the recovery.

Also making note of weak economic growth in several local economies, management said they have developed plans to address possible scenarios and “continue to respond to the pandemic as we gain more visibility on near-term outlook”.