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Written by May 09 2018 0

Medellin-based international electric-power transmitter and highway concessionaire ISA announced May 9 that its first quarter (1Q) 2018 net income rose 24% year-on-year, to COP$297 billion (US$103 million).

Gross revenues climbed 3.6% year-on-year, to COP$1.6 trillion (US$558 million), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 12% year-on-year, to COP$1.06 trillion (US$351 million).

The profit improvements are mainly due to the entry-into-operation of power-transmission projects in Colombia, Perú and Chile, tax refunds in Colombia and Brazil, additional revenues from recently boosted stakes in the TAESA and IENNE power-transmission affiliates in Brazil, and corporate cost reductions, according to ISA.

Profit margins corporate-wide rose to 18.2%, versus 15.2% in 1Q 2017.

Investments by ISA and its affiliates for full-year 2018 would total COP$3.79 trillion (US$1.3 billion), mainly in power transmission (87.8%), followed by highway concessions ((7.4%) and telecom (3.2%), according to the company.

“In the first half of this year we continue on the path of growth with profitability,” added ISA president Bernardo Vargas Gibsone.

“Among the most important events of the [first] quarter was the awarding of a [power transmission] connection for the modernization project of the Talara refinery to our ‘Transmantaro’ subsdiary in Peru -- a project that will generate annual revenues of US$3.5 million,” he said.

“In Chile, the Ministry of Public Works awarded a concession contract for the execution, repair, conservation and exploitation of the ‘Rutas del Loa’ concession road project, which will increase our operation of roads in Chile to 1,018 kilometers, which consolidates us as the main operator of interurban highways in that country.

“And finally, a few days ago, we announced the first issuance of ‘green’ bonds in the capital market made by [subsidiary] group company, ISA CTEEP, which is also the first company in the energy sector to use this financing instrument in Brazil,” Vargas Gibsone added.

Written by May 09 2018 0

Medellin-based construction giant Conconcreto reported May 9 that its first quarter (1Q) 2018 consolidated net income dropped 86% year-on-year, to COP$2 billion (US$698,000).

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also dropped by 36% year-on-year, to COP$33 billion (US$11.5 million).

Colombia’s relatively weak economic growth, recent volatility in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Colombian peso, plus uncertainty over the possible impacts of this year’s upcoming national elections have penalized the construction and housing sectors, according to Conconcreto.

Consolidated gross income also dipped 18% year-on-year thanks to completion of infrastructure projects last year and lack of enough new projects to generate offsetting income, the company added.

Meanwhile, the company expects the Antioquia government to deliver a feasibility report this month to Colombia’s Treasury Ministry regarding the proposed COP$911 billion (US$318 million), 13.8-kilometers-long, “Doble Calzada Oriente” (DCO) divided highway project just east of Medellin.

That project -- in which Conconcreto would take a 60% financing stake -- has already won route approvals from the local Cornare environmental agency, according to the company. The new route would connect the existing Las Palmas highway near the Sancho Paisa roundabout -- as well as the nearby El Escobero highway in Envigado -- to and through the El Tablazo municipality, finally terminating near the San Vicente de Paul Hospital alongside the Jose Maria Cordoba (Rionegro) international airport highway.

Another proposed project – the Darien International Port in Antioquia – awaits finalization of negotiations with potential Port clients. That ocean-freight port project earlier won backing from Brazil-based private equity fund Patria, in partnership with U.S.-based private equity fund Blackstone.

Meanwhile, in Conconcreto’s existing housing and infrastructure construction portfolios, current backlog totals COP$2.4 trillion (US$837 million), equivalent to 1.7 years of work, according to the company.

The company also is a major contractor on the US$5 billion “Hidroituango” hydroelectric dam project in Antioquia – now nearing completion of the largest, initial phase.

Conconcreto also is working with the “Pactia” commercial real estate development partnership on the Corferias Hotel (Bogotá), the El Ensueño Shopping Center (Bogotá), the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín building, Blu Logistics, and others, according to the company.

Written by May 07 2018 0

Medellin-based textile giant Fabricato announced May 1 that it posted a COP$11.6 billion (US$4.1 million) net loss for first quarter (1Q) 2018, 13% worse than the COP$10 billion (US$3.5 million) net loss in 1Q 2017.

Sales also dipped 13.6% year-on-year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped 45% year-on-year, to COP$1.8 billion (US$637,000).

However, the 1Q 2018 business environment improved compared to the immediate prior quarter (4Q 2017) thanks to relatively low inflation, low interest rates, rising oil prices and an improved consumer confidence index, according to the company.

In addition, Colombia’s textile sector “is beginning to see the positive effect of [government] measures taken at the end of last year against illegal competition,” including “intensification in the fight against contraband [clothing imports] and especially the antidumping measure taken against denim imports from China,” according to Fabricato.

In addition, the start-up of the new free-trade agreement between Colombia and the Mercosur nations enables favorable flow of fabrics at zero tariffs between Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Brazil, the company noted.

Meanwhile, Fabricato continues to transfer operations from its shuttered “Riotex” factory in Rionegro, Antioquia, to its centralized Bello, Antioquia, production facilities, hence boosting productivity. Completion of this operational transfer is expected by July.

Reviewing 1Q 2018 results, Fabricato highlighted what it termed as a “bad January, but a good February and March, with EBITDA positive, to a level aligned with our budget.”

In addition, “another relevant factor is our new business model, under which the volume of production is aligned with sales expectations for the period, instead of employing the concept of maximum capacity utilization,” according to Fabricato.

“This has reduced product inventory by 25% in [Colombia Peso] terms and 32% in volume terms, year-on-year,” the company added.

Written by April 27 2018 0

Medellin-based multinational foods giant Grupo Nutresa announced April 27 that its first quarter (1Q) 2018 net profits fell 13.1% year-on-year, to COP$121 billion (US$43 million).

The profit dip “is mainly explained by not accounting a portion of the dividends from our investment portfolio during the period, COP$26 billion [US$9.3 million], which will be registered during the second quarter of this year. Eliminating this effect, Grupo Nutresa’s net profit [for 1Q 2018] would have grown 5.7%,” according to the company.

Corporate-wide consolidated sales for 1Q 2018 rose 3.1% year-on-year, to COP$2.1 trillion (US$748 million), according to Nutresa.

“Sales in Colombia showed a positive performance -- in alignment with better consumption dynamics -- amounting to COP$1.3 trillion [US$463 million], which represents 64% of Grupo Nutresa’s total sales, a growth of 2.4% when comparted to the corresponding [1Q] in 2017, the company added.

Revenues outside Colombia grew 6.6% year-on-year, to US$265.2 million, accounting for 36% of total sales, according to Nutresa.

Consolidated gross profit rose 5% year-on-year, to COP$935.6 billion (US$333 million), “resulting from a sound commodities sourcing strategy,” according to the company.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 3.3% year-on-year, to COP$273 billion (US$97 million), with EBITDA margin at 13% of sales. “This is the reflection of our efforts in productivity and cost efficiency, along with a continued investment in the market,” according to Nutresa.

Grupo Nutresa boasts of a 59.8% market share in processed foods in Colombia “and one of the most relevant players in the sector in Latin America, with consolidated sales of COP$8.7 trillion [US$3.1 billion] in eight business units: cold cuts, biscuits, chocolates, Tresmontes Lucchetti [Italian specialties], coffee, retail food, ice cream and pasta,” according to the company.

Written by April 02 2018 0
Canada-based multinationals Gran Colombia Gold (GCC) and Red Eagle Mining (REM) in late March both reported progress in their gold mining operations here in Antioquia during 2017.
 
For GCC, adjusted net income for fourth quarter (4Q) 2017 nearly tripled, to US$9.1 million, from US$3.4 million in 4Q 2016. Similarly, for full-year 2017, GCC’s adjusted net income rose to US$23 million, up from US$15.6 million in 2016.
 
“The improvement in 2017’s annual adjusted net income compared with last year reflects the positive impact on income from operations of the higher gold production this year, lower financing costs due to debt reductions, and a decrease in Colombian wealth tax compared with the prior year,” according to GCC.
 
As for Red Eagle, full-year 2017 net loss worsened year-on-year, to US$15.7 million, compared to a net loss of US$6.9 million in 2016.
 
“The [2017] net loss increased compared to the 2016 period primarily due to increased mine site expenses, as less costs were capitalized during 2017, mineral property exploration costs [rose] at Santa Rosa as regional targets were drilled for the first time, and interest expense [rose]. Total assets and shareholders’ equity increased primarily due to increased mine development,” REM added. 
 
“The focus for the second half of 2017 was to complete enough underground development to support sustainable production and give access to underground drill pads.
 
“With most of the new equipment having arrived at site through February and March [2018] and the final scoops due for delivery in April, the mine is planned to ramp up to 750 tonnes per day in second-quarter 2018.
 
“The additional underground development and infill drilling will allow consistent production resulting in an estimated 45,000 ounces of gold produced during 2018. The mine now has sufficient underground development to support sustainable production,” REM added. 
 
GCC Highlights
 
Commenting on recent progress, GCC executive co-chairman Serafino Iacono added that “our 2017 results demonstrate that we are firing on all cylinders [as] 2017’s gold production was up 16% from 2016.
 
“Adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] increased by 14% over last year and is almost double the amount reported for 2015. Excess cash flow came in as expected at US$16.4 million.
 
“At Segovia [Antioquia], we added more ounces to our mineral resource estimate through exploration than we mined in 2017 and we reported our first ever mineral reserve for the project today.
 
“We continued to invest in the infrastructure at Segovia, not just in mine development and mining equipment but in areas that raise the bar in health and safety, environmental management and through our foundation, social projects that benefit the community,” he added.
 
Gran Colombia exceeded its guidance for 2017 with total gold production reaching 173,821 ounces, up 16% over 2016, according to the company.
 
“Fueled by continued growth in the company’s high-grade Segovia operations, total gold production increased to 51,699 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 26% over the fourth quarter last year.
 
“Gran Colombia expects its Segovia operations will produce 158,000 to 167,000 ounces in 2018, raising 2018’s total gold production guidance to a range of 182,000 to 193,000 ounces,” the company added.
 
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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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