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Cemex Swings to Profit in Fourth Quarter

By Anthony Harrup

 

MEXICO CITY--Mexican cement company Cemex SAB swung to a net profit in the fourth quarter of 2020 as both sales and operating gains increased from a year earlier.

Monterrey-based Cemex, one of the world's largest building materials companies, reported net profit of $69.7 million for the October-December period, compared with a loss of $238 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Sales in the quarter rose 9%, to $3.54 billion, thanks to higher sales volume in key markets including the U.S. and Mexico. U.S. sales were helped by mild weather and increased activity in residential construction, while in Mexico, strong remittances, government social programs and home improvements supported strong sales of bagged cement.

Cemex's global cement sales by volume rose 13%, to 17.6 million metric tons, ready mix concrete volume rose 1%, to 12.5 million cubic meters, and aggregates volume was up 4%, at 35.1 million metric tons.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a measure of profitability, rose 16% from the year-earlier quarter to $644 million.

In what Cemex called "a roller coaster year with a V-shaped recovery in the second half," sales for all of 2020 slipped 1%, to $12.97 billion, and Ebitda rose 3%, to $2.46 billion. The full-year net loss was $1.47 billion, the result of $1.5 billion in non-cash impairment charges in the third quarter.

For 2021, Cemex plans capital expenditures of $1.1 billion, up from $775 million in 2020, and projects a rise in Ebitda to $2.7 billion.

 

Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 11, 2021 08:43 ET (13:43 GMT)

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