Cemex Latam Holdings net profit fell 42 pct in second quarter

jueves 17 de julio de 2014 11:58 GYT

BOGOTA, July 17 (Reuters) - Cemex Latam Holdings (CLH), a subsidiary of Mexican cement giant Cemex, said on Thursday net profit fell 42 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, as costs of maintenance outweighed an increase in sales, though the company expects a recovery in the second half of 2014.

Net profit reached $67 million between April and June, up from $55 million in the first quarter, CLH said.

The company's earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 14 percent in the second quarter to $142 million, because of regular maintenance to cement kilns, Chief Executive Carlos Jacks said during a conference call on Thursday.

"We carry out maintenance work in our kilns every twelve to eighteen months and during the first six months of 2014 we provided major maintenance to most of our kilns - actually five out of seven," he said.

"We expect a recovery in our consolidated margins during the second half of the year."

Sales rose 2 percent to $441 million in the second quarter, mostly due to Colombia operations, including government purchases for social housing projects, Jacks added.

"Though the results were negative, the slow-down in sales and shrinking of the margins was due to specific incidents," said Alejandro Isaza, construction sector analyst for Serfinco.

"We anticipate that margins will recover going forward, now that maintenance has been carried out," he added. "We have a positive outlook on the infrastructure projects being developed in the region - they give a positive outlook for the company."

CLH operates in Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.   Continuación...