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Companies 108

Written by November 16 2017 0

Medellin-based construction giant Construcciones El Condor reported November 14 that its third quarter (3Q) 2017 net income nearly doubled year-on-year, to COP$15 billion (US$4.9 million), from COP$8 billion (US$2.6 million) in 3Q 2016.

Operating income also jumped in the latest quarter, to COP$262 billion (US$87 million), from COP$163 billion (US$54 million) in 3Q 2016. The company credited gains from the sale of its interest in the Opain airport concessionaire to Grupo Argos for part of the improved results.

Conconcreto Results Dip

Meanwhile, Medellin-based highway construction specialist Conconcreto reported November 15 that its 3Q 2017 net income fell 46.6% year-on-year, to COP$33 billion (US$10.9 million), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 18.9%, to COP$127 billion (US$42 million).

The downturn for Conconcreto reflected slower growth in the Colombian economy this year, resulting in construction slowdowns, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Conconcreto reported a construction order backlog with a total value of COP$2.59 trillion (US$859 million), equivalent to 2.4-years of work.

Written by November 16 2017 0

Medellin-based construction, electric power and cement giant Grupo Argos announced November 14 that its third quarter (3Q) 2017 consolidated net profit grew 38% year-on-year, to COP$452 billion (US$150 million).

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 3Q 2017 rose 28% year-on-year, to COP$1.2 trillion (US$398 million).

Revenues soared by 253% “thanks to the sale of the Compas [ocean ports] shares, to the lots appraisal in the real estate business and to the positive results of all businesses,” according to the company.

“Grupo Argos now has a solid cash position for the closing of the quarter of COP$267 billion [US$88 million], and a reduction in the leverage indicators of 2.2 times the EBITDA, well below the 3.8 times obtained in the same period last year. Both indicators give flexibility to the holding company to develop its strategy of capital allocation and active management on investments,” according to the company.

Grupo Argos is the multinational parent company of Cementos Argos, Celsia and Odinsa, all based in Medellin.

“The cement business showed a positive growth dynamic especially in the United States, which along with significant advances in operational efficiency in all geographies allowed us to show the best figures of the year, with an adjusted EBITDA of COP$428 billion [US$142 million], equivalent to 19.5%, if non-recurring expenses are excluded,” according to Grupo Argos.

“In the energy business, on October 26 [2017], Celsia announced an issuance of common shares and a public offer of acquisition of up to 14% of the Epsa shares. Both operations [Celsia and Epsa] are supported by Grupo Argos, as they will strengthen the energy business and offer greater transparency to the market regarding the capital structure of the holding.

“In terms of the [highway and airports] concessions business, we are confident with the stock market Odinsa strategy, a Grupo Argos road and airport concession company. As shown by the results, we issued bonds for COP$400 billion [US$132 million], with an oversupply of 2.3 times what was offered, making it the first issuer of the sector which in the last 10 years issued securities in the market with an AA- rating.

“Odinsa also achieved the first disbursement and final closure of its US$250 million loan for the construction of the Pacifico 2 highway, under the fourth generation [4G highway] concessions program,” the company added.

During the latest quarter, Odinsa’s revenues were COP$200 billion (US$66 million), up 9% year-on-year, thanks to “stability in the growth of vehicle and passenger traffic, with increases of 3% compared to the same period of 2016, with 73,000 vehicles per day on road concessions, while consolidated from January to September [Odinsa] registered 27 million passengers at airports.”

As for cement operations, “the results for Argos confirm the recovery shown as of June of this year. The EBITDA margin of 19% reached in the third quarter is the same achieved during 2016. This has been achieved thanks to a 17% growth in cement volumes compared to the same period last year, the recovery in the Colombia and competitive efficiencies through the ‘Best’ program,” according to Argos.

In energy, “Celsia obtained revenues of COP$785 billion w[US$ million] with an EBITDA of COP$294 billion [US$97.5 million], an increase of 20% compared to the same period of 2016, and reached an EBITDA margin of 37%,” according to Grupo Argos.

“During this period, the entry into operation of the Celsia Solar Yumbo project stands out, which represents the first of the projects announced by the company to develop a portfolio of non-conventional renewable energy generation in excess of 200 megawatts.”

In real estate, Grupo Argos reported the deeding of 19,000 square meters and COP$29 billion (US$9.6 million) of revenue from sales of lots. Accumulated income from January to September for the sale of lots amounted to COP$221 billion. The company’s participation in the “Pactia” real estate fund “has had a growth in the value of the unit with effective annual yields of 7.7%,” the company added.

Written by November 14 2017 0

Medellin-based gold mining giant Mineros SA reported November 14 that its consolidated third quarter (3Q) 2017 operating income rose 14% year-on-year, to COP$589 billion (US$195 million), while net income rose 7.46%, to COP$91 billion (US$30 million).

In its mainly alluvial mining operations in Colombia, Mineros SA’s net income rose a slight 0.7% year-on-year, to COP$93 billion (US$30.8 million), while operating income dipped 0.1%, to COP$290 billion (US$96 million).

Colombian mining operations saw a 0.1% dip in production, combined with a 3.5% decline in the price of gold as measured in Colombian pesos, the company noted.

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 9% year-on-year in the latest quarter, to COP$193 billion (US$64 million).

In the “Hemco” division in Nicaragua, net income rose 174% year-on-year, to US$11 million, while operating income rose 38%, to US$101 million.

The Nicaragua division saw production rise 33% year-on-year, but EBITDA margin was better in Colombia, at 47%, versus 23% in Nicaragua.

Gran Colombia Gold Results

Meanwhile, Toronto-based Gran Colombia Gold on November 13 posted a US$1 million net loss for 3Q 2017, down from a net profit of US$8.1 million in 3Q 2016

Commenting on the report, Gran Colombia CEO Lombardo Paredes Arenas pointed out that the 42-days-long miners’ strike in Segovia, Antioquia, cut gold output 5% year-on-year.

Despite the strike, “we demonstrated our resiliency once operations returned to normal in early September, rebounding with two of our best production months this year,” Paredes said.

“We have since signed some new contracts with small mining cooperatives in Segovia and negotiations are continuing with the rest. We now believe our 2017 gold production will total between 165,000 to 170,000 ounces.”

However, year-to-date gold production of 122,122 ounces is up 12% over the first nine months of 2016, he added.

Revenue so-far this year is up 8% year-on-year thanks to higher gold production, worth US$144.4 million. However, output disruption during the strike, combined with a 4% decline in world gold prices, contributed to a 17% year-over-year decline in 3Q 2017 revenue to US$42.7 million.

“With Segovia’s operations back to normal and spot gold prices in October and the first half of November generally above $1,270 per ounce, Gran Colombia is expecting stronger revenue performance in the fourth quarter of 2017,” according to the company.

Gran Colombia’s 3Q 2017 total cash costs averaged US$748 per ounce, while its all-in sustaining costs (AISC) averaged $970 per ounce, “reflecting the adverse impact of the reduced level of production on fixed costs and capital spending on a per-ounce basis,” according to the company.

Red Eagle Results

Meanwhile, Vancouver, Canada-based Red Eagle Mining – developer of gold-mining operations in Antioquia, Colombia -- reported November 15 a US$5 million net loss for third quarter (3Q) 2017, down from a US$568,000 net loss in 3Q 2016.

Net losses so far this year total US$11.9 million, compared to a net loss of US$1.2 million for the first nine months of 2016, according to the company.

“The net loss increased compared to the 2016 period primarily due to increased expenses associated with the ramp-up of the San Ramon gold mine and mill during the 2017 period, which also resulted in the increased values of total assets and shareholders’ equity,” according to the company.

“Underground development at the San Ramon gold mine continues to advance according to plan with 1,756 meters completed in the third quarter, 438 meters in October and 4,493 meters completed year-to-date.

“Stope mining operations resumed in October with 4,373 tonnes at 6.09 grams per tonne gold mined and stockpiled. Prior to the anticipated mill start-up in January 2018, Red Eagle Mining expects to have stockpiled 21,000 tonnes of ore.

"Upon completion, the additional development, infill drilling and back fill system will allow consistent production resulting in an estimated 50,000 ounces of gold produced during 2018,” according to the company.

Written by November 11 2017 0

Medellin-based multinational cement and concrete manufacturer Cementos Argos reported November 10 that its third quarter (3Q) 2017 net income fell 42% year-on-year, to US$22 million, down from US$38 million in 3Q 2016.

However, operating income grew 3.9% year-on-year, to COP$2.19 trillion (US$728 million), according to the company.

Cement deliveries also grew 16.7% year-on-year, to 4.2 million tonnes, but concrete deliveries fell 6.1% year-on-year, to 2.7 million cubic meters.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) excluding non-recurring expenses rose 7.5%, to COP$428 billion (US$142 million), according to the company.

In its U.S. operations, cement deliveries rose 49.4% year-on-year, thanks largely to its recently acquired plant in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Gross income in its U.S. operations rose 14.9%, to US$404 million, while adjusted EBITDA soared 50% year-on-year, to US$73.5 million, according to the company.

Growing construction of U.S. homes, along with US$38 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Maryland, Virginia and Florida, plus the future impact of US$50 billion approved by the U.S. Congress for reconstruction of hurricane-hit areas in Florida and Texas, will help boost future income, according to the company.

In Colombia, cement deliveries rose 1.6% year-on-year, but concrete deliveries fell 8.3%. Gross income fell to COP$565 billion (US$188 million) and adjusted EBITDA declined to COP$113 billion (US$37 million), according to Argos. The declines came mainly due to falling prices for cement in Colombia, according to Argos.

Cement deliveries in Colombia for infrastructure projects reflect “steady growth” as Argos is involved in 70% of the “fourth generation” (4G) domestic highway projects, according to the company.

As for operations in Central America and the Caribbean región, cement deliveries rose 5.9% year-on-year, while concrete deliveries rose 1.7%, despite hurricanes that blasted Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Saint Thomas and Dominica. Gross income for the Caribbean region hit US$145 million while adjusted EBITDA came-in at US$44 million.

Housing and infrastructure projects in Honduras and new building projects around the Canal Zone in Panama are expected to boost future income, the company added.

Written by November 08 2017 0

Three Colombian industrial producers of Hass avocados – all based in the Medellin metro area -- this month celebrated the first-ever exports of their products to the U.S. market.

The companies – Cartama, Hasspacol and Westsole – are working with California-based Mission Produce to introduce Colombian Hass avocados to the U.S. market, following first-ever import approvals from the U.S. government last month (see: "Top Antioquia Producers Hail U.S. Decision Enabling Avocado Exports," Medellin Herald, August 16, 2017). 

Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) worked with avocado producers to achieve crucial U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) safety certification for the products.

ICA “has been instrumental in developing the phytosanitary requirements for export to the U.S.,” said Cartama CEO Ricardo Uribe. “We worked closely with Emilio Arevalo, the technical director at ICA, and with APHIS, in assuring that the strict requirements of the export protocol were met and that all future farms adhere to this protocol,” Uribe added.

The first Colombian Hass avocados reaching the market were grown by Hasspacol and packed at Cartama’s packing facility in Pereira, according to Mission Produce.

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U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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