CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:CX) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 27, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:CX) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the CEMEX Second Quarter 2020 Conference Call and Webcast. My name is Chuck, and I'll be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions]

Our host for today's call are Fernando Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer; and Maher Al-Haffar, Chief Financial Officer. And now I would like to turn the conference over to your host, Fernando Gonzalez. Please proceed.

Executive
Fernando Angel Gonzalez Olivieri

Good morning. I hope this call finds you and your family in good health. Thanks for joining us to our second quarter 2020 conference call and webcast. I'm joined by Maher Al-Haffar, our newly appointed CFO. As usual, we will be happy to take your questions after our initial remarks.

Let me just remind you that beginning this quarter, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa regions have been consolidated into one region. We are very pleased with our performance in second quarter under extraordinarily challenging conditions. Our safety protocols kept employees safe and our businesses operating. Our geographic diversification was a clear advantage as government restrictions on our businesses varied significantly from market to market. Our bagged cement product was resilient across our emerging market portfolio.

Our infrastructure exposure and developed market footprint provided a stable base of existing medium-term business to execute. Our existing digital platforms allow our customers and us to work seamlessly on -- in a low-touch environment, while our distribution network enabled us to meet surprisingly strong bagged cement demand in remote markets. Pricing was resilient with a difficult demand environment in many markets, while energy provided a nice cost tailwind. We took important steps to boost liquidity and derisk our financial profile. I'm especially grateful to our employees who rose to the COVID-19 challenge and made the necessary adjustments to keep our colleagues and customers safe and our facilities operating. Despite our safety efforts, there have been cases of COVID-19 among our employees, customers and suppliers. I would like to extend my sympathy and hopes for a full recovery with each and every one of you.

Our three priorities rolled out in February, which we have now named Operation Resilience, guided us in the quarter. Our top priority was to protect our employees, suppliers and customers, thereby ensuring business continuity. We introduced new operating protocols, which included social distancing, minimal staffing, virtual work, daily temperature checks, testing of employees and timely case management, track and trace capabilities to minimize virus spread, outreach to employee families to reinforce health and safety measures in the home environment. As a result, I'm pleased to say that outcomes among all employees are significantly better than national statistics.

In a world of social distancing, we employ a strategy of human touch at a distance, and we saw 13% increase in number of visits to our CEMEX Go platform versus pre-COVID-19 levels, while visits to our Construrama website for Mexican retail customers increased 19% in second quarter 2020. Our global sales force seamlessly transitioned from customer visits to virtual meetings, hosting thousands of videoconferences. Our supply chain and distribution network allow