MEXICO CITY, July 25 (Reuters) - Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's biggest cement companies, said on Thursday its second-quarter loss narrowed, helped by a slight increase in sales and core profit.
The company , struggling amid the global economic downturn and a heavy debt load from costly acquisitions, said sales rose in the United States, Asia and South and Central America, even as Northern Europe remained sluggish.
Core profit, or operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, rose 4 percent to $730 million, in line with analysts' expectations.
Net sales also rose 4 percent to $4 billion in the second quarter.
Still, a loss of $52 million related to derivative positions tied to Cemex shares , as well as higher expenses from severance payments and asset impairments, meant the company's loss was wider than analysts had expected.
The company reported a loss of $152 million, compared with a $187 million loss in the year-earlier period.
Analysts, on average, expected a loss of $70 million, according to a Reuters survey.