Mexico's Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V., announced that consolidated net sales increased 1% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to US$3.5 billion and decreased 3% for the full year to US$14.1 billion, versus the comparable periods in 2009. Operating EBITDA increased 2% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to US$482 million and decreased 13% for the full year to US$2.3 billion.

Fernando A. Gonzalez, executive vice president of planning and finance, said, “Despite the still challenging building materials demand environment in key Cemex markets, we are pleased to deliver EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter. This marks an important inflection point in our performance. We remain focused in rightsizing our business as necessary, reducing our debt, and proactively addressing our refinancing needs. The actions we have taken to adapt to market conditions have strengthened our business and better position us to benefit from the potential recovery in some of our key markets in 2011.”

Net income from continuing operations was a loss of US$581 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, versus a gain of US$265 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Net sales in the company's operations in Mexico increased 25% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to US$902 million, compared with US$723 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Operating EBITDA increased 14% to US$287 million, versus the same period of last year. Cemex’s operations in the United States reported net sales of US$572 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, down 5% from the same period in 2009. Operating EBITDA was a loss of US$36 million in the quarter.

In Europe, net sales for the quarter decreased 15% to US$1.1 billion, compared with US$1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009. Operating EBITDA decreased 26% to US$81 million, from US$109 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Cemex’s operations in South/Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of US$366 million during the fourth quarter of 2010, representing an increase of 7% over the same period of 2009. Operating EBITDA decreased 16% to US$97 million, from US$115 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Fourth-quarter net sales in Africa and the Middle East were US$264 million, up 1% from the same quarter of 2009. Operating EBITDA increased 40% to US$95 million for the quarter versus the comparable period in 2009. Operations in Asia reported a 2% increase in net sales, to US$125 million, versus the fourth quarter of 2009, and Operating EBITDA was US$20 million, down 9% from the same period in the previous year.

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