January 27, 2010 / 4:20 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Cemex posts 4th-qtr loss as cement sales slide

* Q4 loss of $209 mln excludes Australian ops

* Analysts f’cast $519 mln loss incl Australian assets

* Q4 net income from continuing ops $265 mln (Recasts with market expectations)

MONTERREY, Mexico, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Cemex reported a net loss of $209 million in the fourth-quarter on Tuesday, excluding losses from the Australian operations it sold during the period, as cement sales failed to recover.

Last October, Cemex, the world’s No. 3 cement maker, CMXCPO.MX (CX.N), sold its Australian operations for $1.7 billion, which was less than their book value, as the company scrambled to sell assets to pay its hefty debt.

Cemex, which is suffering from a collapse in its U.S. and European cement volumes due to the global recession, said its revenues in the quarter dropped 17 percent to $3.4 billion.

In a statement to the media, Monterrey-based Cemex only reported net income from continuing operations — a $265 million gain in the fourth quarter of 2009.

A Reuters poll of seven analysts forecast a loss of $519 million for Cemex in the October-to-December period, taking into account the $446 million the company lost on selling its Australian assets.

Cemex reported its full earnings on its website.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) slid 37 percent to $474 million.

Including Australian assets, Cemex posted a $707 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Cemex also said Mexico’s fiscal reform passed last year will mean it will pay a total of $799 million in additional taxes between 2010 and 2019. (Reporting by Robin Emmott and Gabriela Lopez; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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