Mexican building materials company Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. (CX: Quote) reported Friday a loss for the second quarter that narrowed from last year, driven by improved margins and lower other expenses, partially offset by losses related to financial instruments and foreign exchange fluctuations.
"We are pleased with our 22% growth in operating EBITDA, on a like-to-like basis, on back of a 1% percent growth in consolidated net sales. This is the highest EBITDA generation since the third quarter of 2009 and the fourth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year EBITDA increase," said Fernando González, executive vice president of finance and administration.
The Garza Garcia, Mexico-based company's second-quarter net loss for controlling interest was $187 million for the second quarter, narrower than $209 million in the prior-year quarter. Loss per ADS narrowed to $0.17 from $0.19 recorded in the second quarter of 2011.
On average, 8 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.06 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Consolidated net sales for the quarter decreased 7 percent to $3.86 billion from $4.16 billion in the same quarter last year. Seven Wall Street analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $4.11 billion. On a like-for-like basis, sales grew 1 percent.
Cemex noted, "We are particularly pleased with the quarterly performance of our operations in the United States, South, Central America and the Caribbean and Asia regions." The infrastructure and residential sectors were the main drivers of demand in most of our markets, it added.
Net sales declined 14 percent in Mexico and 18 percent in Northern Europe. Sales in South/Central America and the Caribbean were up 20 percent. Meanwhile, sales in the U.S. grew 15 percent, and, increased 10 percent in Asia. Sales in the Mediterranean region were lower by 20 percent.
Consolidated aggregates volume declined 3 percent to 41.25 million metric tons from 42.59 million metric tons in the year-ago quarter. Consolidated cement volume was down 3 percent, while consolidated ready-mix volume increased 1 percent from last year.
Operating income margin for the quarter expanded 330 basis points to 9.5 percent, and gross margin improved 230 basis points to 30.0 percent from a year ago.
"We remain focused on our transformation process and expect an incremental improvement of 200 million dollars in our steady-state EBITDA during 2012, reaching a run rate of 400 million dollars by the end of this year," González added.
In Friday's regular trading session, CX is currently trading at $6.85, up $0.07 or 1.06% on a volume of 2.43 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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