UPDATE 1-Mexico's Cemex profit jumps but sales slump on Mexico, Europe
(Adds revenue, debt data)
MEXICO CITY, July 22 (Reuters) - Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's largest cement companies, on Wednesday reported a jump in quarterly profit but sales slumped on weakness in Mexico and northern Europe.
It posted second-quarter revenue of $3.839 billion, down 7.6 percent on the same period last year, falling short of Reuters forecasts. It said net sales declined 9 percent for its Mexico unit and in northern Europe they fell by 21 percent.
The company said net profit jumped 50 percent to $114 million, compared to $76 million in the same period a year earlier. Its United States unit saw operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization grew 31 percent.
Earlier this year, Cemex, which has struggled with large debts since the 2007-09 global economic downturn, stepped up its effort to regain an investment-grade debt rating by vowing to cut costs and sell up to $1.5 billion in assets.
Cemex said that it had refinanced approximately $1.937 billion of outstanding debt that matured in 2017, extending the maturity by three years. The lower interest rate on the debt will save it $20 million a year in financial expenses, it said.
In March the company said it had earmarked $100 million of assets already for sale. (Reporting by Christine Murray and Gabriela Lopez Editing by Franklin Paul and W Simon)
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