(Adds comments from conference call)
Feb 9 Mexican cement producer Cemex reported a
48 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit, beating
expectations, on increased demand in Mexico, and it forecast
sales volume growth of up to 3 percent in 2017.
Cemex said on Thursday that net income
rose to $214 million from $144 million a year earlier. Analysts
in a Reuters poll were expecting $185 million.
Net sales fell 4 percent to $3.19 billion, just below the
$3.33 billion expected from the poll.
In a call with journalists, Chief Executive Officer Fernando
Gonzalez said the company expected capital expenditures of $730
million in 2017, and growth in cement and concrete volumes of 1
percent to 3 percent.
Sales in Mexico, Cemex's biggest market by profit, rose 4
percent to $701 million, while cement volumes grew by 7 percent.
The company is still divesting assets to help cut its debt
in hopes of regaining an investment-grade rating.
Cemex's shares have rallied since Donald Trump's election as
U.S. president, partly on hopes that the company could benefit
from his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Gonzalez declined to comment on the call on whether Cemex
would supply the wall.
In January, Cemex sold a concrete tubing unit for $500
The company is also forging ahead with the sale of its 23
percent stake in Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua through a
secondary share offering that could raise more than $400
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Noe Torres in
Mexico City; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)