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Grupo Argos Celsia 'Termoflores' Power Plant in Colombia Grupo Argos Celsia 'Termoflores' Power Plant in Colombia Source: Grupo Argos

Grupo Argos Net Profits Jump 53% Year-on-Year

Published in Companies Written by  May 16 2018 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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Medellin-based electric power, cement, construction and highway/airport concessionaire Grupo Argos announced May 15 that its first quarter (1Q) 2018 net profits jumped 53% year-on-year, to COP$210 billion (US$73 million).

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 9% year-on-year, to COP$941 billion (US$328 million), while EBITDA margin hit 28%, 272 basis points higher than in 1Q 2017.

The latest results “include stability of consolidated revenues of COP$3.3 trillion [US$1.1 billion] and growth in all other areas, reaching an operating profit of COP$607 billion [US$211 million], 23% more than in the same period of 2017, the result of the operational efficiencies in all its businesses,” according to Argos.

“Three significant advances are highlighted: First, in the process of deepening our investment in the [highway/airport] concessions business, the Odinsa delisting from the Colombian Stock Exchange was carried out, which will allow the subsidiary to have a more flexible and attractive capital structure. for the global market.

“Secondly, the simplification and strengthening of the capital structure of the energy business was completed, with the issuance of Celsia shares and the sale of the shares in [power producer] Epsa, which leaves an increasingly clear portfolio for the market.

“Finally, Cementos Argos' disinvestment plan continued with two important operations: the sale at the beginning of the year of 13 concrete-block plants in the U.S. [netting Argos US$50 million] and the divestment of three self-generating power plants in Colombia for US$58 million.”

“Our portfolio profitability strategy has given us very good results for our shareholders since, for the third consecutive quarter, all our businesses delivered positive contributions,” added Grupo Argos president Jorge Mario Velásquez.

Revenue and EBITDA gains in the latest quarter “are mainly explained by the sale of the shares of [Colombia power producer] Epsa, which generated a non-recurring income of COP$655 billion [US$228 million]. If we exclude the effects of this operation, revenues show an increase of 10% and a 23% increase in EBITDA,” the company added.

Odinsa Results

During the latest quarter, “an arbitration award in favor of Odinsa stands out -- in the case of the [highway] concession of the Autopistas del Café -- which, in addition to us maintaining the administration [of the concession] until 2027, confirms the good performance of the company. Likewise, the private initiative for the new Cartagena airport was presented, with estimated investments of more than US$600 million,” according to Argos.

As for its Bogota international airport concession, “it is worth noting the increase in passengers at the El Dorado airport, from 7.6 million to 7.9 million, and the stable behavior of daily vehicular traffic of 75,100 vehicles, very similar to the 75,400 recorded in the same period of 2017. These operating results have allowed Odinsa to have revenues of COP$184 billion [US$64 million], 1% more than in the first quarter of last year,” the company added.

Cementos Argos Results

“During the first three months of this year, Cementos Argos announced the use of tires as an alternative fuel source at the Cartagena [cement] plant. The efficiencies achieved by the ‘BEST’ program have allowed to reach an EBITDA of COP$371 billion [US$129 million], 31% more than in the same quarter of the previous year, and the improvement of the EBITDA margin in all the regional areas, to achieve a 19% margin,” according to Argos.

Celsia Results

In the Celsia energy division, “a positive balance included the start of the operation of the Yumbo solar [photovoltaic] farm. With respect to [over-all power plant] results, the company reached an EBITDA of COP$290 billion [US$101 million], 20% more than in the same period of the previous year, and an EBITDA margin of 34%. These results were achieved thanks to the increase in generation by 18%, and by 11% in power sales,” according to Argos.

Real Estate, Pactia Results

During 1Q 2018, the Grupo Argos urban-development division accumulated property deeds totaling 90,000 square meters, and the division realized revenues of COP$10 billion (US$3.5 million) from the sale of lots. “In addition, in the [commercial] real-estate rental business, we highlight the positive results of Pactia which closed the quarter with assets under management of COP$3.4 trillion [US$1.18 billion], and a gross leasable area of 719,000 square meters, growing 40% year-on-year,” according to Argos.

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