By Anthony Harrup
MEXICO CITY--Mexican cement maker Cemex SAB reported a $1.54 billion loss in the third quarter after a non-cash charge, while sales and operating profit rose with construction picking up across regions after Covid-related shutdowns.
Cemex, one of the world's largest building materials companies, said Wednesday that sales in the July-September period rose 2% from the year-earlier quarter to $3.44 billion, and operating profit rose 15% to $453 million.
The loss, compared with a $187 million profit in the third quarter of 2019, was mainly the result of a $1.5 billion non-cash charge related to goodwill impairments and idle facilities.
Operating cash flow measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $728 million, an 11% increase from a year before and the highest for a quarter since 2016. Cemex expects to end the year with Ebitda around $2.4 billion.
"All regions participated in earnings recovery," Cemex said.
In Mexico, sales rose 1% to $723 million and were up 14% adjusting for peso depreciation. The pickup followed sharp declines in the second quarter when construction activity was restricted because of the coronavirus.
Sales in the U.S., where construction remained open as an essential activity, rose 1% to $1 billion.
Cement sales by volume for all regions rose 3% to 17 million metric tons, aggregates volume was flat at 35.4 million metric tons, and ready mix concrete sales by volume fell 6% to 12.3 million cubic meters.
Cemex reduced net debt plus perpetual notes by $504 million during the third quarter to $10.3 billion.
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