Cemex reported 2010 first quarter sales of US$ 3 billion, down -10% on the same period last year. Pre-tax profits for the quarter fell -23% to US$ 515 million, down from US$ 712 million 12 months ago.

Cement sales in the first quarter fell -6% while ready-mix and aggregate sales decreased by -16% and -13% respectively.

A statement said that the decline in sales was due to lower volumes in Mexico, the US and Europe although this was partly offset by higher prices in several markets. Sales in South and Central America and the Caribbean region increased +4% to US$ 348 million and in Asia sales climbed +10% to US$ 124 million. Elsewhere sales volumes fell with -24% declines recorded in the US and Spain.

Executive vice president of planning and finance, Fernando Gonzalez said, "The results of the first quarter reflect the ongoing challenges posed by the effects of the global economic slowdown, as well as unfavorable weather conditions in the US and Europe.

"Our ongoing efforts to reduce costs and optimise the efficiency of our operations are progressing well and today I would say we are well placed to take advantage of the potential recovery in some of our key markets."

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