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Cemex Swings to Second-Quarter Profit on Higher Sales

By Anthony Harrup

MEXICO CITY--Mexican cement maker Cemex SAB swung to a net profit in the second quarter as sales increased by a third, with gains across all regions.

Monterrey-based Cemex, one of the world's largest building-materials companies, on Thursday reported net profit of $270 million for the April-June period, compared with a net loss of $44 million in the second quarter of 2020.

Revenue rose 33% to $3.9 billion, with higher sales volume and prices across markets, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization--a measure of profitability--rose 48% to $818 million, the company said.

"Our growth in the quarter, which exceeded pre-pandemic levels, gives us confidence that this performance is sustainable in the second half of the year," Cemex said.

Cement sales by volume increased 24% in the quarter to 17.8 million metric tons. Ready mix concrete volumes were up 20% at 12.6 million cubic meters, and aggregates volume rose 16% to 35.2 million metric tons, the company said.

Cemex lowered its net debt by $743 million in the quarter to $8.4 billion, and brought its debt-to-Ebitda ratio down to 2.85 times, passing a key milestone of three times as the company seeks to regain the investment-grade ratings lost during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

The comparisons with 2020 were made easier by the shutdowns that affected construction in the second quarter of last year. Cemex said it expects growth to continue in most regions, but at a slower pace, supported by the global economic recovery and abundant monetary and fiscal stimulus in developed markets.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 29, 2021 08:22 ET (12:22 GMT)

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