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Written by August 24 2017 0

Medellin-based multinational personal hygiene products manufacturer Familia SA announced this month that its second quarter (2Q) 2017 net profits soared to COP$51 billion (US$17 million), up from a COP$51 billion (US$17 million) net loss in 2Q 2016.

Sales also rose in 2Q 2017, to COP$583 billion (US$196 million), versus COP$570 billion (US$191 million) in 2Q 2016, according to the company, which manufactures toilet paper, napkins, diapers, feminine hygiene products and other paper-based products for sale in 20 Latin American countries.

Grupo Familia was founded in 1958, initially as an importer of Scott toilet paper. But it now has four Colombian manufacturing plants -- in Medellin, Rionegro, Cajica, Cauca – a fifh plant in Aconcagua, Argentina, and a sixth plant in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Former employees involved in an alleged toilet-paper price-fixing scheme with other companies several years ago have since been fired. Familia also paid a COP$62 billion (US$20.8 million) fine last year to settle those charges.

 

Written by August 24 2017 0

Medellin-based paints, chemicals, hardware supplies and pipe manufacturer Grupo Orbis this month posted a second-quarter 2017 net loss of COP$1.5 billion (US$504,000), an improvement over the COP$11 billion (US$3.7 million) net loss in 2Q 2017.

Sales improved slightly in 2Q 2017 to COP$369 billion (US$124 million), versus COP$366.9 billion (US$123 million) in 2Q 2016, according to the company, which produces the popular “Pintuco” brand of paints at its Rionegro, Antioquia manufacturing complex.

While first-quarter 2017 results inside Colombia were in-line with budget forecasts, the second quarter 2017 showed a decline in consumer demand, according to the company.

On the positive side, Orbis sales in Central American markets and in Argentina exceeded expectations. But Brazil sales results were hurt by continuing macroeconomic headwinds, according to Orbis.

Corporate financing costs for first-half (1H) 2017 grew to COP$36 billion (US$12 million), versus COP$27 billion (US$9 million) in 1H 2016.

While Grupo Orbis describes itself a significant finished-products exporter, the company “has a significant exposure to imported raw materials that may have potential impacts on costs due to adjustments in the exchange rate,” according to the company.

Written by August 20 2017 0

Medellin-based gold mining giant Mineros SA announced August 17 that its first-half (1H) 2017 net profits dipped 2.9% year-on-year, to COP$74 billion (US$24.7 million), while operating income dipped 4%, to COP$199 billion (US$66.6 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 12.2% year-on-year, to COP$100 billion (US$33 million), while operating costs rose 1.6%, to COP$106 billion (US$35 million).

Consolidated revenues rose 14.4% year-on-year, to COP$402 billion (US$134 million), but Colombia revenues fell 4% year-on-year as gold prices (in Colombian pesos) fell 7.24%, according to the company.

Revenues in its Nicaragua operations rose 40% year-on-year thanks to production increases, while EBITDA margin in Nicaragua hit 26%, versus 50% in Colombia.

The company foresees future annual gold production in Nicaragua hitting 120,000 ounces “over the médium term” and predicts economical synergies between its Colombian and Nicaraguan operations.

Most of the Colombian gold production by Mineros is alluvial (river barge dredging) whereas most of the Nicaraguan production is via underground mines. Colombian production dipped slightly to 54,983 ounces in 1H 2017, versus 56,409 ounces in 1H 2016, while Nicaraguan production rose 36.6% year-on-year, to 53,725 ounces, according to the company.

Written by August 16 2017 0

Two of Antioquia's leading producers of Hass avocados on August 15 hailed a new decision by the U.S. government to allow imports of Colombian avocados into the U.S. market starting September 15.

“Unlike Peru and Chile, Colombia enjoys permanent production of Hass avocados during 12 months of the year,” said Ricardo Uribe Lalinde, general manager of Medellin-based Cartama, a group of leading Colombian companies producing avocados and cut flowers for major export markets.

“At a time when the North American market demand for Hass avocados remains unsatisfied, here in our country we can supply it,” he added.

Having first launched Hass avocado production in Amaga, Antioquia in 2007, Cartama later expanded production into Caldas and Risaralda, and then opened a packing and shipping plant in Pereira for the export market in 2016.

Also during 2016, British supermarket chain Marks and Spencer awarded Cartama with its “Growers Best Quality” certification for Colombian Hass avocados.

The new U.S. approval would at least double Colombian exports of Hass avocados, which already topped US$25 million through the first half of 2017, according to Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

Meanwhile, Pedro Aguilar, president of Westsole Fruit Colombia -- which has major warehouse, packing and shipping facilities on the Medellin-Bogota highway in Antioquia -- added that Colombian avocado producer insistence upon meeting strict sanitary standards has been crucial to winning more export markets.

Of the US$35 million in avocado exports from Colombia in 2016,  52.7% of the total came from Antioquia; 22.7% from Risaralda; 7.4% from Bogotá;  5.8% from Caldas; 4.6% from Quindío; 4.5% from Cundinamarca and the remaining 1.8% from Valle del Cauca, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Meanwhile, according to an August 15 press release from Expo Agrofuturo – which is hosting its ninth annual trade show at Medellin’s Plaza Mayor convention center September 13-15 – Colombia is already the third-largest global avocado producer, and the new U.S. market opening is expected to prompt "rapid growth over the medium term."

Avocado production and export will be among the featured topics at Expo Agrofuturo 2017. The trade show will include 420 national and international exhibitors, some 20,000 registered attendees and an expectation of business deals topping US$300 million, according to Expo Agrofuturo.

Agricultural experts from Spain, Germany, Holland and Colombia will be among the featured speakers at Expo Agrofuturo 2017, including Nicolas Cock, co-founder and president of Medellin-based Ecoflora Agro.

Written by August 16 2017 0

Medellin-based construction giant Construcciones El Condor announced August 11 that its second-quarter (2Q) 2017 net income rose nine-fold year-on-year, to COP$159 billion (US$53.6 million), while revenues jumped 55%, to COP$455 billion (US$153 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose five-fold, to COP$226 billion (US$76 million), according to the company, which focuses mainly upon highway construction.

Operating revenues for first-half 2017 were COP$275 billion (US$92.7 million), up 62% over the same period last year “mainly due to considerable construction revenues in [Colombian highway] projects which are in the construction stage as is the case with Pacifico 2, Pacifico 3, Transversal de las Americas and Ruta al Mar among others,” according to the company.

“The company expects to continue achieving its revenue budgets, which could generate an additional increase for the second semester of 2017,” the company added.

The big jump in net income “is explained principally by the income from sale of investments (non-recurring event) and the increase in profit from construction services provided, which the company expects to maintain during the second semester. Net margin was 57.6%,” according to the company.

“The infrastructure sector continues to be a key economic driver and this quarter´s figures reflect projects that are maturing and increasing their rate of execution. The projects that supported the construction revenues in the second quarter of 2017 were Transversal de las Americas, Caucheras, Pacifico 3, Pacifico 2 and Cesar Guajira,” the company added.

As of June 2017, the company administers an investment portfolio with infrastructure projects that have a book value of approximately COP$668 billion (US$225 million).

Debt ratio was 26% (calculated over total assets) and net equity as of June 31, 2017, was COP$905 billion (US$305 million), up 16.9% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, order backlog -- the balance of works hired and works to be implemented -- was COP$2.782 trillion (US$938 million), the company added.

Page 9 of 15

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About Medellin Herald

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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