Cemex 2Q net profit rises six per cent

Cemex 2Q net profit rises six per cent
Published: 20 July 2007

Cemex said Thursday its net profit rose 6% year-on-year in the second quarter, with sales increasing in all regions around the world where the company operates except for the U.S.  
Cemex, the world’s biggest supplier of ready-mix concrete and No. 3 cement maker, reported a net profit of $611m, compared with $579m in the year-earlier period.  
Cemex’s consolidated sales also rose 6% to $4.9bn. Volume increases amounted to 1% in cement, 4% in ready-mix and 1% in aggregates, it said in a release.  
Among the company’s various markets, U.S. sales fell 16% on the year to $941m. Sales in Mexico rose 10% to $967m, while they increased 9% in Spain to $520m and 12% in the U.K. to $536m.  
Cemex registered a 1% decline in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, or EBITDA, to $1.1bn. Operating profit also fell 6% to $806 million.  
The results were in line with the guidance that  Cemex provided last month, though Ebitda came in a little better than the company’s expectations for a 2% drop.  
"We achieved significant increases in net sales while further reducing our debt levels, even in the face of the continued downturn in the United States’ residential sector," said Hector Medina, executive vice president of planning and finance, in the release.  
Net debt stood at $4.1 billion at the end of June, a $1.1bn reduction during the quarter. That brought net-debt-to-Ebitda down to 1.0 times from 1.2 times at the end of the first quarter.  
Medina said the company is focused on completing the integration of Australia’s  Rinker Group Ltd "while continuing to drive solid returns for our shareholders."  
The $14.25 billion offer for Rinker shares ended Monday, though the company is still in the process of acquiring the remaining 4.4% shares in the company that weren’t tendered.