Mexico\'s Cemex, the world\'s third largest cement maker, posted a loss of $146 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, a company spokesman told AFP Friday. But Jorge Perez said that \"losses have substantially reduced,\" comparing the figure with a $574 million loss during the same period the previous year. Cemex registered sales and operating growth in 2011 for the first time in four years, he added. Sales grew eight percent in 2011 compared to the previous year to reach $15.1 billion, according to a company statement released Friday. The growth was due to a rise in cement sales in northern Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean and the United States, with most demand for infrastructure and housing construction, the statement said. Cemex shares fell sharply in October 2011 due to debt problems, for sums which have not been revealed.