Homex’s Cash Drain Leaves Homes Unfinished as Margins Narrow

Desarrolladora Homex SAB (HOMEX*), Mexico’s biggest homebuilder by revenue, said its sales and cash supply shrank in the first quarter as slow collections affected its ability to finish homes under construction.

Revenue plummeted 46 percent to 3.3 billion pesos ($273.5 million) in the first three months of the year from the same period last year, according to a report today with the Mexican stock exchange. Cash and cash equivalents tumbled 94 percent to 322.7 million pesos from a year earlier, the company said. First-quarter free cash flow was negative 3.2 billion pesos.

Mexico’s biggest homebuilders have been struggling to adapt to a changing industry. Subsidy programs on which the builders depend for growth have increasingly emphasized development of capital-intensive apartments closer to cities over single-family homes in commuter towns.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- a measure of profit known as Ebitda -- fell 52 percent to 599.7 million pesos in the period. Its profit margin, based on adjusted Ebitda, narrowed to 18 percent from 20 percent last year.

Homex, based in Culiacan, Mexico, said April 19 that it agreed to sell its stake in two prisons to companies controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The company said it would use the 4 billion pesos in proceeds as working capital and to pay down debt ahead of schedule.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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