Cemex Loss Narrows as U.S. and Latin America Rebound

Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. announced that its second-quarter loss narrowed as a U.S. housing recovery and a Latin American rebound outside Mexico bolstered sales. The net loss was $152 million, compared with a $187 million loss a year earlier, the Monterrey, Mexico-based company said in a statement in late July. Sales rose 3.8 percent to $4.01 billion with U.S. revenue jumping 9.2 percent as home starts accelerated from their year-ago level.

Cemex is benefiting from a U.S. housing rebound that pushed the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the country to $80 million in the second quarter, almost triple the level of a year earlier. Sales advanced 6 percent in Central America, South America and the Caribbean after a first-quarter decline.

The Mexico unit’s EBITDA rose 4 percent to $730 million, noted Cemex. Total cement sales volume in the country was little changed at 17.3 million metric tons (Mt) and ready-mix concrete volume added 1.7 percent to 14.5 million cu. m. Aggregates such as sand, gravel and crushed stone advanced 3.6 percent to 42.7 Mt.

Cemex’s U.S. revenue was $868 million as the annual rate of housing starts in June rose 10 percent from a year earlier. The U.S. unit posted an EBITDA profit for the fifth quarter in a row as cement volume climbed 3 percent and prices advanced 4 percent. Ready-mix concrete volumes climbed 14 percent with a 5 percent price gain.

Sales in Mexico rose 1.7 percent to $847 million as cement volumes fell 7 percent and prices gained 5 percent. Ready-mix concrete volume in Cemex’s home country fell 3 percent while prices climbed 8 percent. Cemex said cost cuts in Mexico and Northern Europe would lead to about $100 million in savings in the second half of the year.

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