MEXICO CITY Nov 8 Mexico's top cement maker
Cemex said on Thursday that it was pleased
with the way its U.S. business was evolving but acknowledged it
is still far from fully recovering.
"We are cautious and we are far from a full recovery in the
U.S. business but the trend is certainly in the right
direction," Maher Al-Haffar, Cemex's vice president of corporate
communications and investor relations, said in an interview.
One of the world's biggest cement companies, Cemex was
hard-hit by the collapse of the U.S. housing market soon after
paying about $16 billion to buy Australian peer Rinker. It has
been working its way out of debt obligations for the past three
The company, which recently wrapped up a $7.2 billion
refinancing package that gave it much-needed room to push back
looming debt payments for up to four years, said it expects its
U.S. business to post positive operating earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) this year.
"The U.S. is making a very nice come back: volumes are
growing nicely, prices are growing nicely, and hopefully we will
not have a double dip as a consequence of politicians not being
able to deal with the fiscal cliff," Al-Haffar said.
"Fiscal cliff" refers to a combination of U.S. government
spendng cuts and tax rises due to be implemented under existing
law in early 2013 that might tip the economy back into recession
Cemex forecast last month weaker consolidated volumes for
2012 hurt by Europe's tepid performance.