* U.S. construction market expected to pick up
* Cemex shares up 2.64 pct on Thursday
MONTERREY, Mexico Feb 14 Mexico's Cemex, one of
the world's biggest cement makers, said on Thursday it expects
to be able to charge higher prices in the United States going
forward to boost its core profit.
The company last week said that weak sales in Europe offset
a pickup in its U.S. business, leading to a wider-than-expected
Still, a bright spot of fourth-quarter results was an
increase in Cemex's core profit, or earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
The company's EBITDA should continue to rise, to $4.7
billion by 2016, from $2.6 billion in 2012, Chief Executive
Lorenzo Zambrano told analysts at the investor day.
That increase in EBITDA will come from an improved U.S.
construction market, where the company expects to be able to
charge higher prices over the next few years, executives said.
Cemex shares rose 2.64 percent to 13.98 pesos on Thursday.
The shares are up 7.5 percent this year through Wednesday.