Mexico’s ICA Sees Lower Debt Measure by End of Year

Empresas ICA SAB (ICA*), the Mexican construction company that was downgraded by two ratings companies in the past week, expects to cut its debt load this year, Chief Executive Officer Alonso Quintana said.

Net debt will be close to seven times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the end of the year from the current level of about 8.2 times, Quintana said. The builder will overcome a first-quarter sales decline to post an annual gain as work on existing projects speeds up, he said.

The shares tumbled 22 percent this week through yesterday, the largest three-day decline since October 2008, as Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company’s credit rating. ICA has enough signed contracts to bolster sales this year even as it awaits an announcement on President Enrique Pena Nieto’s plans for infrastructure spending, Quintana said.

“There’s a new wave of projects we already have in the backlog and we took a little longer to get them rolling,” Quintana said in a telephone interview from Mexico City. “We’re still expecting growth this year, even taking into account that 2012 was a very strong year.”

ICA climbed 0.3 percent to 25.88 pesos at 1:22 p.m. in Mexico City after four straight days of declines.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan Case in Mexico City at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at

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