Cemex said Friday its net loss narrowed slightly in the second quarter to US$294m from US$306m in the year-ago period as sales picked up in northern Europe, Mexico and Latin America, while the US market remained sluggish.
Cemex said sales rose 9% from a year earlier to US$4.1bn, with most of the growth coming from infrastructure and residential sectors.
While sales rose, operating gains were below what they were a year ago, affected by higher energy and maintenance costs. EBITDA fell 7% to US$615m, and operating profit was 12% lower at US$258m. Free cash flow after maintenance capital expenditures was US$18m, down from US$187m.
Cemex said that higher financial expenses and other expenses, including severance payments related to its savings efforts, more than offset higher exchange gains in the quarter.
Fernando Gonzalez, Cemex’s executive vice president of finance and administration, said in the release that improvements in Mexico, Central and South America, and northern Europe helped mitigate difficult conditions in the US.
US sales fell 9% to US$619m, and operations there generated an EBITDA loss of US$22m, while in Mexico sales were up 5% to US$968m and EBITDA was US$309m.
Fernandez said efficiency efforts are continuing and expected to generate additional recurring EBITDA of US$400m by the end of 2012.
Consolidated cement sales volume fell 1% in the second quarter to 17.8Mt, and ready-mix concrete volume rose 5% to 14.1Mm3. Aggregates volume was down 1% to 42.6Mt.