Cementos Argos Sees U.S. Housing Recovery Boost, Velasquez Says

Cementos Argos SA, Colombia’s largest cement maker, sees in its U.S. sales “encouraging signs” that the worst of the housing crisis has passed, the company’s President Jorge Velasquez said.

The U.S. housing market “will have a significant recovery,” Velasquez said in a telephone interview from Medellin yesterday. “It will happen sooner rather than later, and the size of the recovery will be important for our business.”

Home prices, measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 U.S. cities, climbed more than forecast in July from a year earlier, a report from the group showed Sept. 25. The 1.2 percent gain was the biggest 12-month advance since August 2010.

After reporting positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from the U.S. in the second quarter, “we expect that trend to continue,” Velasquez said. It would be “premature” to change the company’s guidance, he said.

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