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Companies 158

Written by March 06 2019 0

Medellin-based textile giant Coltejer revealed in a March 5 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera oversight agency that it suffered a COP$29 billion (US$9.3 million) net loss for full-year 2018, 17% worse than the COP$24.7 billion (US$7.9 million) net loss in 2017.

Sales also dropped 15% year-on-year, to COP$144 billion (US$46 million), compared to COP$169 billion (US$54 million) in 2017.

Operating plus non-operating income combined dipped 17% year-on-year, to COP$176 billion (US$56.7 million), according to the company.

The net loss for 2018 is “basically owed to financing costs and reduced sales,” according to the company.

Meanwhile, fellow Medellin-based textile giant Fabricato revealed March 5 in a separate, one-sentence filing with Superfinanciera that its full-year 2018 net loss hit COP$31.75 billion (US$10.2 million), worse than the COP$6.4 billion (US$2.2 million) net loss in 2017. That filing failed to offer any other details.

Colombia’s textile manufacturers have been suffering severe losses in recent years in part because of massive below-cost contraband textile imports, mainly from Asia.

Textile Contraband ‘Czar’ Arrested

On a related front, Colombia’s Attorney General announced March 5 the arrest of Salim Ricardo Yamhure Daccaret of Imetex Ltda. and his alleged associate René Romero Sánchez on charges of illegal textile imports and money-laundering, totaling at least COP$177 billion (US$57 million) in avoided taxes and duties.

According to the Attorney General, Yamhure Daccaret allegedly evaded taxes and duties on imports of more than 19,000 tons of fabrics from Panama, Hong Kong and China, followed by the fictitious export of 12,000 tons of textiles.

“The raw material entered under the appearance of legality via Colombia by the ports of Cartagena, Barranquilla and Buenaventura,” according to the Attorney General.

“But this material wasn’t processed into products that were reported as exported. On the contrary, it was found that the merchandise remained in the country and, apparently, was sold at very low prices,” according to the Attorney General.

“Imetex Ltda. reported operations generating income totaling US$57 million, supposedly covered with tariff exemptions and [exclusions from] value-added tax. So, it is estimated that the fraudulent scheme generated losses to the state of at least US$57 million,” according to the Attorney General.

“In 2015, Imetex Ltda. was fined for COP$47 billion [US$15 million] for breach of tax commitments. Yamhure Daccaret in an attempt to divert the attention of the authorities, changed the name of the company registered it as Prointexco,” according to the Attorney General.

Written by March 01 2019 0

Medellin-based insurance and financial services giant Grupo Sura announced March 1 that full-year 2018 net income (excluding divestments) rose 7.6% year-on-year to COP$1.4 trillion (US$475.7 million) while fourth-quarter (4Q) 2018 profits rose 28% year-on-year, hitting US$101.8 million.

The “Suramericana” insurance division saw 2018 profits rise 3.6% year-on-year, to COP$524.8 billion (US$170 million), while the “Sura Asset Management” division (pensions, savings and investment) saw revenues grow 6.1% year-on-year in Colombia’s “mandatory” pension-contributions sector and 10.7% in the “voluntary” pensions sector.

“In comparable [year-on-year] terms, the revenues of Suramericana grew in all its segments: general (13.3%), life (15.8%) and health (21.1%),” according to the company.

Revenues in 2018 were trimmed by the divestment of the life-insurance annuity operation in Chile and a decision against participating in the bidding for another pension-insurance scheme in Colombia.

“The operating growth of the main lines of business of Suramericana and Sura Asset Management in 2018, as well as the higher efficiencies, allowed us to offset part of the impact that the high volatility of the financial markets had on the returns of our own investments throughout the year,” added David Bojanini, President of Grupo Sura.

“Under these conditions, the total consolidated revenues of Grupo Sura were COP$19.2 trillion (US$6.5 billion) and decreased 0.8%, during a year marked by the high volatility of the capital markets, which affected income from portfolio returns of pension funds and insurers.

“In addition, the strategic decisions mentioned in the insurance business and the devaluation of local currencies influenced results. Total expenses decreased 0.4%, to COP$17.6 trillion (US$5.94 billion), due to lower loss ratios and reserve adjustments, as well as greater control of expenses.

“As a result, earnings before accounting effects increased 7.6% to COP$1.41 trillion (US$475.7 million) and the net profit was COP$1.34 trillion (US$454.4 million), 7.7% less than in 2017, which reflects the lower income from yields and the accounting effects associated with the mentioned divestments, which do not impact the cash flow,” he added.

In the Suramericana division, “the good operating result contrasts with the 7.3% decrease in investment income and lower non-operating income. If the latter are excluded, the growth in net income is 27.2%. In addition, the retained loss ratio went from 54.8% to 51.5%,” according to Sura.

“In the last year we made important progress in consolidating 'Seguros Sura' in the region, highlighting that we met our income and profit budgets,” added Suramericana president Gonzalo Pérez.

“Also in 2018 we evolved our value offer, for example, with the introduction of individual and patrimonial life-insurance solutions in countries other than Colombia,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sura Asset Management grew its commission income by 6.6%, which totaled COP$2.1 trillion (US706.6 million). The assets under management (AUM) increased 2.8%, for a total value of COP$418.6 trillion (US$128.8 billion), covering 19.6 million customers, up 4.1% year-on-year.

The normalized operating profit of the Sura Asset Management subsidiary grew 0.4%, although net profit actually decreased 39.7% year-on-year because of an accounting loss due to the divestment of life annuities in Chile and lower income from reserves, the company added.

Written by March 01 2019 0

Medellin-based multinational retail foods-and-housewares giant Exito reported March 1 that its full-year 2018 net income jumped 28.3% year-on-year, hitting COP$279 billion (US$90 million), while revenues rose 8.9% year-on-year, to COP$55 trillion (US$17.8 billion).

Net sales in Exito’s four South American markets grew by 10.7% in Brazil, 0.2% in Colombia, 5% in Uruguay and 27.9% in Argentina, according to the company.

Consolidated recurring earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin closed 2018 at 5.7%, 40 basis points above 2017, according to Exito.

“In Colombia, innovative [store formats] such as ‘Éxito Wow’ and ‘Carulla FreshMarket,’ which grew in double digits, and e-commerce channels, which increased their sales by 33.4%, contributed positively to the increase in total sales,” according to Exito.

In Colombia, Exito reported COP$11.2 trillion (US$3.6 billion) in revenues (up 1.1% year-on-year) and a 5.8% EBITDA margin (up from 3% in 2017).

“In addition, e-commerce channels had a growth of 33.4% in 2018 and represented 3.4% of total sales in [Colombia]. The cash-and-carry format through the ‘Surtimayorista' brand totaled 18 stores with sales that exceeded US$100 million,” the company added.

“These positive results are mainly due to ‘exito.com’ and ‘carulla.com,’ which added more than 60 million visits in the year, 20% more than in 2017, and thanks to the [Exito-organized] marketplace that exceeded 1,000 sellers and 60,000 products offered,” according to Exito.

The 18 stores of the “Surtimayorista” cash-and-carry format “seduces both the professional buyer (shops, hotels, restaurants, etcetera) and the popular consumer,” according to Exito.

As for commercial real-estate ventures in Colombia, “the company has maximized the value of its real estate spaces with shopping centers under the ‘Viva’ brand that have been consolidating year after year [as] 2018 closed with a portfolio of 34 shopping centers and galleries with an occupancy rate of 96%,” according to Exito.

“In 2018, Viva Malls put into operation two shopping centers: Viva Envigado [adjacent to Medellin], which marked the arrival of a new generation of shopping centers in Colombia, with experiential [store formats] in more than 138,000 square meters and which in its first three months of operation received close to 9 million visitors. For its part, Viva Tunja, with 35 thousand square meters, received between October and December more than 240,000 visitors,” the company added.

In Brazil, Exito’s sales growth was driven by the “Assaí” chain, the “Multivarejo” retailing scheme and digital transformation initiatives, according to the company. Revenues in Brazil rose to the equivalent of COP$40 trillion (US$12.9 billion) “thanks to the growth in sales of 24.2% of Assaí in local currency and the good commercial performance of the ‘Extra’ and ‘Pão de Açúcar’ brands,” according to Exito.

In Uruguay, sales grew 5% year-on-year and recurring EBITDA margin hit a favorable 7.7%, according to the company.

As for Argentina operations, which combine both retail and real-estate businesses, sales grew 27.9%, while recurring EBITDA margin hit 4.1%.

At year-end 2018, Exito boasted 1,533 large-format stores: 554 in Colombia, 863 in Brazil, 89 in Uruguay and 27 in Argentina. The company has more than 2.8 million square meters of retail-sales area, and more than 140,000 employees.

Written by February 28 2019 0

Medellin-based highway construction specialist Construcciones El Condor announced February 28 that its full-year 2018 consolidated net income hit COP$112.6 billion (US$36 million), down from COP$183 billion (US$59 million) in 2017 but explained by a non-recurring sales gain in 2017.

Operating income during 2018 included COP$1 trillion (US$324 million) for services plus COP$11 billion (US$3.6 million) for the provision of goods. Operational costs were 84% of operating revenues, up 14.3% year-on-year, according to the company.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for full-year 2018 totaled COP$176 billion (US$57 million) – “not comparable with 2017 due to non-recurring events” -- and EBITDA margin was 16.5%, according to the company.

At year-end 2018, total assets totaled COP$2.56 trillion (US$831 million), down 5.24% year-on-year, while total liabilities fell 25% year-on-year, to COP$1.47 trillion (US$477 million), according to El Condor.

As for fourth-quarter (4Q) 2018, operating income jumped 57% year-on-year, to COP$284 billion (US$92 million), while 4Q 2018 EBITDA soared to COP$46 billion (US$15 million) versus COP$9.7 billion (US$3 million) in 4Q 2017.

Net income for 4Q 2018 also jumped to COP$29.9 billion (US$9.7 million) versus COP$9.2 billion (US$3 million) in 4Q 2017.

At year-end 2018, construction backlog –including works contracted and to be executed – totaled COP$1.82 trillion (US$590 million), including an existing contract with Prodeco as well as the signing of a new contract with the Santa Marta-Paraguachón S.A.S. highway concession, according to El Condor.

 

Written by February 27 2019 0

Medellin-based construction giant Constructora Conconcreto reported February 26 that its full-year 2018 net profits dipped to COP$74.8 billion (US$24 million), down from COP$78 billion (US$27 million) in 2017.

On the other hand, “during 2018, the company successfully made a plan to sell non-strategic assets to guarantee liquidity and investment commitments, amounting to COP$220 billion [US$71.6 million]," according to Conconcreto.

As for 2019, Conconcreto has budgeted COP$60 billion (US$19.5 million) to finance the construction of the “Vía 40 Express” project (third Bogota-Girardot lane) and COP$65 billion (US$21 million) in real-estate housing developments, according to the company.

At year-end 2018, Conconcreto had a backlog of contracted projects worth COP$1.9 trillion (US$619 million), of which 75% are infrastructure contracts. Debts due for payment in 2019 total COP$215 billion (US$70 million), the company added.

Conconcreto generated COP$1.08 trillion (US$352 million) in revenues during 2018, and at year-end it saw financial liabilities decline by COP$91 billion (US$29.6 million) while accumulated reserves came-in at COP$390 billion (US$127 million).

Meanwhile, Conconcreto – a member of the “CCC Ituango” construction consortium that’s building the 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydroelectric dam in Antioquia – pointed to recent stabilization of the troubled project.

“The attention of the crisis of the hydroelectric project Hidroituango through the construction consortium CCC Ituango allowed to stabilize the dam, the [engineered spillway] and the diversion tunnels of the Cauca River, as well as the other works necessary to mitigate risks in the project,” according to Conconcreto.

On another front, “Conconcreto has collaborated in the investigation opened by the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio [Colombia’s antitrust investigations agency] for an alleged collusion in the award of the ‘Third Lane Bogota Girardot’ [highway construction] project,” according to the company.

“To date, shareholders’ own resources are being contributed to fulfill the project plan of this project and we hope that once the investigation is closed [then] we can resume the financial closing process and guarantee the execution of the project,” according to Conconcreto.

On other fronts, Conconcreto revealed that it continues to develop new technologies such as 3-D printing; digital platforms for purchasing and material logistics; data analytics to predict accidents and determine material prices; building information design (BIM) technologies; robotic process automation; and transactional technologies including Blockchain.

“The consolidation of the TID (engineering and design workshop) with nearly 100 architects, engineers and professionals related to the sector has allowed us to optimize the execution of projects and comply with the timely and in-budget delivery of projects,” according to Conconcreto.

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