(Adds results data)
July 27 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement producers, said on Wednesday its net profit soared a stronger-than-expected 81 percent in the second quarter, helped by a jump in sales in the United States and Mexico.
The company said net profit rose to $205 million, almost double analysts’ estimate of $107 million in a Reuters poll. The company also raised its debt reduction and asset sale targets.
Consolidated net sales rose 6 percent to $3.7 billion on a like-to-like basis for ongoing operations and adjusting for currency movements, the company said.
U.S. net sales rose 3 percent to $1.04 billion, and in Mexico, they rose 7 percent to $796 million.
Shares in Cemex are up more than 40 percent this year, boosted by hopes of stronger growth in its United States, its biggest market.
Mexico’s peso lost almost 6 percent of its value against the dollar during the quarter, amid worries over Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.
That affects Cemex, which is burdened with a heavy dollar-denominated debt load.
But it said proceeds from listing its Philippines business in June had helped reduce total debt plus perpetual notes by $1.15 billion during the quarter.
The company said operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 16 percent on a like-to-like basis to $771 million.
It also said it now aims to cut total debt by $3 billion to $3.5 billion in the next two years, up from a previous target of up to $2 billion. It aims to sell assets worth up to $2 billion, higher than the previous goal of between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. (Reporting by Richa Naidu, Gabriela Lopez and Christine Murray; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and W Simon)