BOGOTA, July 26 (Reuters) - Cemex Latam Holdings, a unit of Mexican cement company Cemex, said on Wednesday its net profit fell 72 percent to $16 million in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year, due to strong competition and difficult weather conditions.
Consolidated sales were down 12 percent to $314 million in the April-June period, compared with the same quarter in 2016, because of lower demand and prices in Colombia, the company's largest market.
"Our results were affected negatively by the intense competitive environment in Colombia, fewer work days because of Holy Week and adverse climate conditions," Jaime Muguiro, Cemex's director for South, Central America and the Caribbean, said in a statement to the financial regulator.
Company debt was down 9 percent during the quarter to $897 million, while cash flow was up 12 percent, the statement said. Muguiro added he was optimistic the company would continue to have solid cash flow during the rest of the year thanks to its investments.
Net profit for the first half of the year was down 49 percent to $51 million, compared to the same period in 2016.
Cemex Latam Holdings operates in Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb)