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Written by February 15 2019 0

Medellin-based textile, fibers and filaments manufacturing specialist Enka de Colombia revealed in a February 7 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera corporate-oversight agency that its full-year 2018 profits more-than doubled year-on-year, to COP$4.3 billion (US$1.37 million).

Operating earnings rose 15% year-on-year, to COP$411 billion (US$131 million), thanks to higher prices in international markets and a 3% hike in sales volumes, according to the company.

Especially notable was the 122% jump in sales to North America, along with an 8% rise in sales to Brazil and a 21% hike in sales to the local Colombian market, according to Enka.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 38% year-on-year, to COP$31.8 billion (US$10 million), according to the company.

The positive earnings enabled Enka to invest nearly COP$17 billion (US$5.4 million) mainly in projects to expand and modernize its novel recycling operations that convert waste plastics into specialty fibers and textiles, according to the company.

Written by February 15 2019 0

Medellin-based multinational paints, chemicals and water-treatment technology manufacturer Grupo Orbis revealed February 14 in a filing with Colomba’s Superfinanciera corporate oversight agency that it posted a COP$3.2 billion (US$1 million) net loss for full-year 2018, compared to a COP$40.7 billion (US$12.9 million) net profit in 2017.

Full-year 2018 sales dipped slightly year-on-year, to COP$1.46 trillion (US$464 million), down 0.9% from COP$1.69 trillion (US$538 million) in 2017, according to the company.

The company includes the giant “Pintuco” paints subsidiary along with chemicals unit Andercol, water-treatment specialist O-Tek and aerosol-spray specialist Mundial.

On another front, Icontec -- the Colombian Institute of Technical Standards and Certification – last month awarded Pintuco a special certification for its recent efforts to slash net global-warming emissions through the “BanCO2 Plus” project, which helps Antioquian farmers replant native trees and conserve local water resources.

“Being ‘carbon-neutral’ is the result of the commitment that our organization has toward reduction and compensation for greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions,” according to Pintuco.

Written by February 15 2019 0

Medellin-based commercial real estate investor Valores Simesa revealed February 14 in a filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera corporate-oversight agency that its full-year 2018 after-tax profits rose to COP$24 billion (US$7.6 million), up from COP$12 billion (US$3.8 million) in 2017.

Bancolombia’s investment-bank division held 68% of the stock of Valores Simesa, according to the company’s most recent annual report (issued March 2018).

A core holding of the company is Medellin’s giant “Ciudad del Rio” center, which includes shops, restaurants, offices, residential apartments, parking garages and the Modern Art Museum.

Valores Simesa is a spin-off from the former Siderugica iron foundry complex, now occupied by Medellin's Modern Art Museum.

Besides real-estate deals, Valores Simesa also invests in other companies. Part of its income has come from royalties from the Drummond coal mines in Colombia, but this arrangement is due to expire at year-end 2019, according to the company.

Written by February 07 2019 0

Bogota-based cement/concrete manufacturing giant Cemex LatAm Holdings announced February 7 that its fourth-quarter (4Q) 2018 region-wide net profits fell 33% year-on-year, to US$10 million, from US$33 million in 4Q 2017.

But full-year 2018 profits improved 36% year-on-year, to US$63 million, from US$46 million in 2017, according to the company, which operates in Colombia, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

As for its Colombia operations, full-year 2018 sales slipped 7% year-on-year, to US$524 million, while 4Q 2018 sales dipped 6% year-on-year, to US$125 million, from US$134 million in 4Q 2017, according to Cemex.

Colombian sales of grey cement for full-year 2018 dipped 6% year-on-year, but rose 4% in 4Q 2018, while Colombian concrete sales fell 11% for full-year 2018 and by 8% in 4Q 2018.

Sales of aggregates in Colombia declined 14% for full-year 2018 and 15% in 4Q 2018 versus 4Q 2017, according to the company.

Cemex foresees 2019 demand for cement in Colombia either flat or rising by 1%, while demand for concrete and aggregates would rise by 1% to 3%, according to the company. Product prices also began to recover slightly in the Colombian market during 4Q 2018, according to the company.

Colombia’s residential-sector demand rose slightly during 4Q 2018, according to Cemex, especially in the “informal” and “self-built” housing segments.

For these lower-income “social housing” sectors, “there are encouraging signs for the future, given that sales and construction permits [in those sectors] through September 2018 rose by 5% and 15% respectively . . . supported by continuing government subsidies,” according to the company.

However, the middle- and upper-income housing sectors in Colombia continue to face challenges as new-starts and housing-permit applications had fallen 18% through September 2018, while inventories in these sectors remain relatively high, at 16-months turnover rate.

As for the Colombian infrastructure sector (highways, airports, tunnels, hospitals, sewage-treatment-plants, schools, marine ports), 4Q 2018 demand continued relatively strong, according to the company.

Cemex dispatched its products to 15 “fourth-generation” (4G) highway projects including the “Mar 1” and “Vias del Nus” projects in Antioquia, plus the “Autopista al Rio Magdalena 2;” “Bucaramanga-Barranca-Yondó;” “Bucaramanga-Pamplona;” and “Pasto-Rumichaca” projects. Cemex boasts that it achieved 36% market participation in 4G projects during 2018.

For the rest of 2019, Cemex expects demand for cement in Colombian infrastructure proejcts to rise by low-single-digits, including several large road-building projects in Bogota, according to the company.

Written by January 22 2019 0

Colombia Minister of Agriculture Andres Valencia on January 18 hailed the start-up of the nation’s biggest Hass avocado export plant at Sonson, Antioquia, targeting the European and Saudi Arabian markets.

The new plant, a joint venture between South Africa-based Westfalia Group and Chile-based Agricom, aims to help Colombia meet a goal over the next two years to export at least US$100 million worth of Hass avocados annually, according to the Minister.

The new plant will buy avocados mainly from smaller local producers, aiming to help them find attractive, stable export markets, as well as boosting their access to financial credits, according to the Minister.

Colombia currently produces more than 400,000 tons/year of various types of avocados, ranking fifth globally.

Between 2015 and 2017, Colombia’s Hass avocado exports skyrocketed by 413%, and then rose another 38% last year, hitting US$73 million in export value, Valencia said, citing local Corpohass trade-association statistics.

That association reported 15,530 hectares dedicated to Hass avocado production in Colombia, with full-year 2018 output estimated at 95,250 tons, he added.

The latest plant expansion in Sonson “reflects rising investor confidence in Colombia,” added Westfalia Fruit Colombia general manager Pedro Aguilar-Niño.

Machinery for the new plant came from New Zealand-based Compac, a división of Tomra Food. The new plant can process more tan 20 tons per hour, and during 2019 it would handle up-to-4-million kilos per year, according to the company.

Together with Westfalia’s sister processing plant in nearby Guarne, Antioquia, Westfalia estimates that it will be able to export some 9 million kilos of Hass avocados from Colombia this year.

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

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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