Mexico: Mexican cement giant Cemex has reported that sales growth in its operations in the United States, Central and South America and the Caribbean helped it to narrow its first-quarter loss in 2012.
"The favourable performance in most of our regions leads us to believe that we are in the initial stages of a turnaround," said Fernando Gonzalez, Cemex's executive vice president of finance and administration, who added that the quarter marked Cemex's sixth consecutive quarter of top-line growth.
Sales rose by 4% year-on-year in the January-March 2012 period to US$3.5bn. Higher sales in the US helped compensate for weaknesses in Mexico and Europe, although the US operations were still a drag on operating earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
Cemex said its operating EBITDA rose by 7% on the year to US$567m. On a like-to-like basis for its ongoing operations and adjusting for currency fluctuations, operating EBITDA increased by 10%.
Cemex's net loss for the quarter was US$26m, narrower than a loss of US$229m loss a year earlier.