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Cemex posts $70 mln Q4 profit with higher sales in U.S., Mexico

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MONTERREY, Mexico, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Mexican cementproducer Cemex on Thursday reported a net income$70 million for the fourth quarter, compared to a $238 millionloss a year earlier, bolstered by an increase in sales in theUnited States and Mexico.

The Monterrey-based company, which operates in more than 50countries reported a 9% increase in net sales to $3.54 billion,the highest reported sales in a fourth quarter since 2014, thecompany said.

In the United States, Cemex's biggest market, net salesincreased 8% to $1.0 billion, it said.

In Mexico, government social programs, high levels ofremittances, and home improvement projects helped propel a 23%increase in sales to $836 million.

"2020 was one of the most challenging years we have facedbut it also was a remarkable year that tested the strengths ofCEMEX and several of our recent strategic initiatives," CEOFernando Gonzalez said.

(Reporting by Laura Gottesdiener in Monterrey and Ankit Ajmerain Bengaluru; editing by Maju Samuel and Jason Neely)