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The 13th annual “Medellin Como Vamos?”survey (released April 11, 2019) on citizen perceptions of quality-of-life finds that aside from air pollution, certain security issues and worsening traffic mobility, Medellin residents haven’t changed their opinions very much between 2018 and 2017.

According to the survey of 1,514 households in all economic strata, “the satisfaction with Medellín as a place to live [in 2018] was stable in relation to the year 2017, with eight out of ten citizens satisfied.

“The aspects that the people of Medellín ranked as priority for their own quality of life in 2018 were health (at 74%), education (at 51%) and employment (at 51%), the latter falling four percentage points below what was achieved in 2017.”

The face-to-face survey -- taken between September 21 and November 6 -- found that 45% of Medellin households considered that their economic situation was unchanged year-on-year, while another 38% said their economic situation had improved.

As for employment, 40% of Medellín residents surveyed said that it is “not easy to find a job, compared to two out of ten who considered that it is,” according to the survey conducted by Ipsos Napoleón Franco and co-sponsored by Proantioquia, Universidad Eafit, Fundación Corona, Comfama, Comfenalco, Cámara de Comercio de Medellín and daily newspaper El Colombiano.

“In 2018, the self-perception of poverty remained stable at 18% in relation to the year 2017,” according to the report.

“By zones of the city, the central-eastern and the northeastern regions had the highest self-perception of poverty with 23% and 22%, respectively, while the lowest perception was in the southeast with 5%.

“Regarding the perceived inequality in the city during 2018 in Medellin, citizens said that the aspects where there was more unequal access were well-paid employment (50%), quality health care (44%) and quality housing (42%),” according to the report.

As for public education, “the satisfaction of citizens with the education received by children and young people between five and 17 years of age was 71%, eight percentage points lower than in 2017,” the study noted.

Seventy percent of citizens said they were satisfied with cultural offerings in the city, about the same as in 2017. “On the other hand, the satisfaction with the recreational and sports offer in the city was 77%, three percentage points above what was evidenced in 2017,” according to the survey results.

While health care remains the top issue for Medellín residents, “paradoxically, quality health care was designated as the second most unequal area in Medellín, after well-paid employment,” according to the survey.

As for perceptions about security, “during 2018, 41% of the citizens of Medellin said they felt safe in the city, a figure lower than that of 2017 by six percentage points, while 25% said they felt unsafe, five percentage points higher than what was found in 2017,” according to the survey.

“Of the perception of security in their neighborhood, during 2018, 66% of citizens said they felt safe, while 13% said they felt insecure, figures similar to those of 2017.”

As for housing and public-utilities services, “satisfaction with the neighborhood was 81% and for housing it was 82%, without significant differences in any of the cases versus 2017,” according to the survey. “With regard to public services, domestic [natural] gas was the service with the highest proportion of satisfied households, at 94%,” according to the survey.

While 55% of citizens said they were generally satisfied with environmental quality, “air quality continued to be the issue with the lowest level of satisfaction, with just one in ten citizens satisfied,” according to the survey.

As for mobility, “44% of the inhabitants of Medellín considered that their habitual journeys took longer” in 2018 versus 2017, thanks to the continuing, explosive growth of motorcycles and other vehicles causing traffic congestion here, the survey noted.


Cemex Maceo plant deal April 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:45 Written by

Cemex Colombia Partially Unblocks Stalled Maceo, Antioquia Cement Plant

Cemex Colombia revealed in an April 12, 2019 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera corporate oversight agency that it reached a deal with the national Procuraduría General (corporate/political disciplinary regulator) that would partially clear the way to start-up a US$420 million cement-manufacturing plant at Maceo, Antioquia.

The stalled plant has been tied-up in legal knots over allegations of improper land transfers to Cemex through a company allegedly involved in a fictitious auto-parts exporting and money-laundering scheme (see Medellin Herald 06/22/2018, 02/09/2018).

Last year, Colombia’s Attorney General (Fiscal General) brought criminal charges against Édgar Ramírez Martínez (former Cemex Colombia vice president of planning) and Camilo González Téllez (former Cemex Colombia vice president legal affairs) over the Maceo, Antioquia, cement-plant land-acquisition scandal.

The Attorney General also brought illegal-enrichment and money-laundering charges against Eugenio Correa Díaz, the legal representative of “C.I. Calizas SA,” which is alleged to have illegally sold land to Cemex for the Maceo plant.

The lands originally held by C.I. Calizas had been subject to another legal proceeding (“extinction de dominio”) over non-payment of Colombian taxes on allegedly phony exports of auto parts by former C.I. Calizas owner Jose Aldemar Moncada, who was assassinated two years ago.

According to the Attorney General, Ramirez, González and Correa “advanced negotiations to acquire several assets” of C.I. Calizas -- including lands that supposedly should have been in control of Colombia’s tax authorities because of the earlier tax-evasion charges against Moncada.

However, Cemex Colombia now reports that it just reached a “conciliatory agreement” with the Procuraduría General involving a “Special Assets Company” (SAE), CI Calizas y Minerales S.A. (CI Calizas), Cemex Colombia and its subsidiary Central de Mezclas S.A., “by means of which the signing of a mining operation contract, provision of manufacturing and dispatch services and leasing of real estate for cement production was endorsed.”

“This contract will allow Cemex Colombia to continue making use of the assets subject to the process of domain-extinction that include the rights derived from a mining concession and an environmental permit, including the land where the cement plant was built in the municipality of Maceo, along with and the assets of the Special Cement Zone of the Magdalena Medio SAS (ZOMAM), for a term of 21 years, extendable for an additional 10 years, provided that the extension of the mining concession is obtained,” according to Cemex Colombia.

Under the new contract, Cemex Colombia and Central de Mezclas would pay a rental lease and certain fees to CI Calizas and ZOMAN – but conditional on plant reopening.

“Cemex Colombia clarifies that the subscribed contract will continue in force regardless of the result of the process of extinction of ownership that currently falls on the assets of CI Calizas including ZOMAM, except that the competent criminal judge recognizes Cemex Colombia and its subsidiary having property rights for the assets in domain extinction, in which case the contract will be terminated in advance, given that Cemex Colombia and its subsidiary would be the owners of those assets and the contract to operate and administer them would no longer be required,” according to Cemex.

“The cement plant is expected to enter into operation when the requests and procedures that are being processed with the competent authorities are resolved in a positive manner, such as: (i) the partial removal of the cement plant from the ‘Integrated Canyon Management District’ of Rio Alicante; (ii) the modification of the environmental license that allows the production of at least 950,000 metric tons of cement per year; (iii) the modification of land use allowing industrial and mining use, and; (iv) the obtaining of the permits to complete the construction of several sections of the road to the cement plant,” according to Cemex Colombia.


Autopista Rio Magdalena delays April 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:44 Written by

Aleatica SA subsidiary Autopista Rio Magdalena (ARM) announced April 8, 2019 that it has cancelled its highway construction contract with Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (OHL) and is seeking a new contractor.

The partially completed ARM highway project aims to connect Remedios in northern Antioquia with the “Ruta del Sol” fourth-generation (4g) highway via a new bridge over the Rio Magdalena near Puerto Berrio, Antioquia.

According to ARM, OHL allegedly failed to comply with contract terms including “significant delays” in construction works, despite a COP$150 billion (US$50 million) advanced given to OHL to push forward the project.

Aleatica has notified Colombia’s infrastructure-development oversight agency Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) about the contract termination.

Meanwhile, Aleatica is working to find a new contractor in order to restart the project “as soon as possible,” according to the company.

So far, Aleatica has invested more than COP$600 billion (US$300 million) in the project, without tapping any government funds, according to the company.

The ARM project includes 155 kilometers of two-lane highway as well as a 1,360-meters-long bridge over the Rio Magdalena. The highway would boost competitiveness of Antioquia’s industries by improving access to Ruta del Sol and the Caribbean coast.

Aleatica is involved in 14 development projects covering 1,087 kilometers mainly in Latin America as well as Spain, with investments topping COP$17 billion (US$5.8 billion), according to the company, which is owned by 27 Australian pension funds and managed by IFM Investors.


Update: 3 Medellin Airlines Pick Up Routes Left by ADA

Colombia’s airline oversight agency Aeronautica Civil de Colombia (ACC) announced April 5, 2019 that three airlines – Aeroejectivos de Antioquia SA(AASA), Servicios Aéreos Panamericanos S.A.S (Sarpa) and Servicio Aéreo De Capurganá S.A. (Searca) are taking-over the flight routes left by the shut-down Aerolinea de Antioquia (ADA).

According to ACC, AASA will have two weekly flights from Medellin’s downtown Olaya Herrera (EOH) airport to-and-from El Bagre, Acandi and Tolu.

Sarpa will have seven weekly flights to-and-from EOH to Bahía and Quibdó, as well as seven other weekly flights to-and-from EOH to Nuquí, Quibdó and Pereira.

As for Searca, it will offer twice-weekly flights to-and-from EOH and Acandí, three weekly flights to-and-from EOH and El Bagre; seven weekly flights to-and-from EOH and Montelíbano; and two weekly flights to-and-from EOH and Tolú.

The new flight services will “guarantee the connectivity of travelers that move to and from the department of Antioquia that formerly used ADA,” said Aeronautica director Juan Carlos Salazar.

“We will continue working to motivate the entry of other operators that facilitate mobility in this region of the country,” Salazar added.


TigoUne 2018 results March 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:41 Written by

Source: TigoUne

TigoUne: Full-Year 2018 EBITDA Grew 6% Year-on-Year, but Profits Withheld

Medellin-based telecom/internet/cable-TV giant TigoUne announced March 5, 2019 that its full-year 2018 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 6% year-on-year, to COP$1.43 trillion (US$460 million), on revenues of COP$5 trillion (US$1.6 billion), described as “similar to 2017” revenues.

TigoUne – whose ownership is split 50-50 between Luxembourg-based telecom multinational Millicom and Medellin utility Grupo EPM-- didn’t disclose its net income for 2018. But it did reveal in a separate filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera oversight agency that it plans to retain all 2018 profits rather than distribute any earnings to shareholders.

TigoUne also separately revealed that it plans to make a COP$1 trillion (US$322 million) bond offering in the Colombian stock market, but didn’t offer further details.

Other 2018 operating highlights cited by TigoUne were a total of COP$941 billion (US$303 million) invested in “digital highways that connected to more Colombians”: as well as having “revolutionized the mobile [cell-phone] market in Colombia by being the first operator to have ‘4.5-G’ zones and ‘value proposals’ so that users are always connected.”

“We consolidated [our offering] as the leading telecommunications company in innovation as the first [in Colombia] to perform testing of ‘5G’ networks and having the first ‘4.5G’ zones in the main cities of the country,” added TigoUne president Marcelo Cataldo.

The strong revenues “allowed the company to make a debt repayment of COP$183 billion [US$59 million], reducing our obligations and strengthening our financial situation)” as well as to “keep running an ambitious investment plan,” according to TigoUne.

“In the last four years, the company has invested close to COP$4 trillion (US$1.3 billion) to promote the development of the country.

“Investments in the fixed [telecom] network were reflected in the commercial launch in seven cities: Pasto, Tuluá, Tunja, Sogamoso, Funza, Mosquera and Fusagasugá. Likewise, we increased the network coverage in cities where we already have presence,” according to the company.

“In addition, TigoUne obtained [bond rating] certifications from the three most important risk rating agencies. Fitch Ratings confirmed the rating of the telecommunications company UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones S.A. as a stable perspective (AAA) at the local level, the highest rating a company can have.

“In turn, the credit rating agency highlighted the strength of the company and ratified its international rating "BBB" for the third consecutive year.

“For its part, the technical committee of BRC Standard & Poor’s also confirmed the highest local qualification of payment capacity 'AAA' to UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones S.A. and its subsidiary Colombia Móvil S.A. E.S.P., as well as to the three issues of outstanding bonds that it currently has in the market. To complete, in February 2019, the Moody's firm awarded TigoUne the Baa3 international rating,” the company added.


Sura 2018 results March 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:39 Written by

Sura Full-Year 2018 Profits Rise 7.6% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based insurance and financial services giant Grupo Sura announced March 1, 2019 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$524.8 billion (US$ million), while the “Sura Asset Management” division (pensios, savings and investment) saw revenues grow 6.1% year-on-year in Colombia’s “mandatory” pension contributions and 10.7% in the “voluntary” pension 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 to not participate in the bidding for a 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 Asset Management subsidiary grew 0.4%, contrasted with a net profit that decreased 39.7% year-on-year, explained by an accounting loss due to the divestment of life annuities in Chile and lower income from reserves, the company added.


Mineros SA 2018 results March 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:38 Written by

Socially Responsible Gold Miner Mineros SA Sees 2018 Profits Jump 33% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based multinational gold mining giant Mineros SA announced March 13, 2019 that its full-year 2018 net income rose 33% year-on-year to COP$156 billion (US$50 million), from COP$117 billion (US$37 million) in 2017.

Gross revenues and gold prices also rose a bit more than 1% year-on-year. But earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dipped 8.7%, to COP$260 billion (US$83 million), while EBITDA margin declined 9.7%, to 32.4%, according to the company.

The mainly alluvial-based gold mining operations in Colombia produced 97,921 ounces of gold-equivalent in 2018, down from 103,370 ounces in 2017, according to the company. Nicaragua gold production rose from 104,681 ounces in 2017 to 109,305 ounces in 2018.

As for fourth quarter (4Q) 2018, net income nearly tripled year-on-year, to COP$97 billion (US$31 million), thanks to a 15% hike in output, a favorable COP/U.S. dollar exchange rate and a 1.3% hike in world gold prices.

On a related front, the US$30 million acquisition of the Gualcamayo gold mining operation in Argentina last December netted Mineros an additional 2,791 ounces of gold, on top of its Nicaragua and Colombia production, the company added.

As for the 2019 outlook, Mineros projects that corporate-wide production should be in the range of 280,000 to 300,000 ounces of gold-equivalent. The company added that it foresees “high volatility” in world gold prices but an “upward tendency.”

USAID, Mineros Continue Boosting Social Projects

On another front, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Colombian national government and Mineros this month will launch yet another project aiming to help poorer rural families in El Bagre, Nechi and Zaragoza (all in Antioquia) through a new “Women of Gold” (Mujeres de Oro) program.

According to USAID, the “Mujeres de Oro” program will help rural women with projects that boost their economic, social and cultural well-being.

Mineros has a long history of sponsoring numerous projects that benefit poorer rural families in its areas of operations (see Medellin Herald 09/21/2016, “USAID Projects Boost Ecological Mining, Honey Incomes for Antioquia Families”).

In addition, Mineros years ago banned the use of toxic mercury -- in sharp contrast to criminal and informal gold-mining operators.

What’s more, Mineros routinely restores any lands disturbed by its mining through various reforestation and wildlife conservation projects – unlike the criminal mining groups tied to guerrillas and “paramilitary” organizations that devastate tropical forests and wreck riverside habitats (see Medellin Herald 03/21/2017, “Mineros SA Boosting Environmental, Social Projects”).


Medellin and its neighboring suburbs expanded “pico y placa” driving restrictions on all conventional combustion-engine cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles to nine hours daily for the week of March 2-9, 2019, because of worsening air pollution.

The only personal transport vehicles exempted from such driving restrictions are electric cars, along with Medellin’s “Metro” electrified railcar system, the expanding “Metrocable” electric-powered aerial tram system, an incipient electric-powered roadway tram system, the upcoming expansion of pure-electric “Metroplus” electric buses this year, and free zero-emissions bicycles at Metro rail stations.

What’s more, Medellin debuted its first all-electric taxicab on March 3 -- right on the heels of the debut of the “Line M” Villa Hermosa-Buenos Aires aerial tram debut February 28.

“Line M,” serving 350,000 people in northeastern districts, is the fifth aerial-tram system now operating in Medellin, with a sixth coming in a few more months.

All these moves are further signs of the upcoming conversion to zero-emissions transport modes for Medellin -- and likely for many other global cities facing air-pollution problems.

On the taxi front, the “Tax Belén” cab company debuted its first BYD all-electric cab this month – exempt from “pico y placa” driving restrictions.

Medellin hopes to see as many as 1,500 electric taxis over the next few years, but the relatively high cost of acquisition compared to conventional gasoline-powered taxis is the key sticking point (see Medellin Herald 09/27/2018)

“Tax Belen, one of the largest taxi companies in Medellín with more than 2,300 cabs, will be in charge of operating public service cars, while BYD will provide after-sales service and will contribute its experience as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric vehicles,” according to BYD.

“Fuel savings compared to other combustion vehicles will be approximately 70% and operating costs will be 50% lower than natural-gas or gasoline taxis,” according to BYD.

BYD claims that range-between recharge should be around 400 kilometers and fast-charge stations can recharge the vehicle in 90 minutes.


Antioquia’s Crucial ‘Mar 1’ Wins Financial Close; Puerto Antioquia Wins Concession; Pacifico 1-2-3 Making Progress

Colombia’s Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez announced March 20 that the “Mar 1” highway project linking Medellin westward to Santa Fe de Antioquia -- and eventually to new Atlantic ports -- just won a COP$2.23 trillion (US$754 million) financial close organized by the “Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional” (FDN) financing agency.

On a related front, Vice President Ramirez simultaneously announced that the long-awaited “Puerto Antioquia” ocean freight port near Turbo, Antioquia, just won a 30-year concession.

That US$300 million port project will include construction of new piers and docking facilities for up to-five ocean ships simultaneously; a four-lane divided highway linking the dock area to terminal facilities; and onward highway linkages to the new “Mar 1” and Mar 2” highways that should be completed over the next six years -- hence bringing Medellin much closer to relatively lower-cost global freight transport.

The new port will handle containerized cargo, highway vehicles, grains, plantains and bananas, according to project developer PIO Sas, in association with global shipping and port-operator Naviera Francesa CMA CGM S.A., plus major regional banana growers.

Civil works on the project will be undertaken by France-based Eiffage Infraestructuras de Francia along wth Colombia-based Termotecnica Coindustrial.

As for the “Mar 1” financial partners, these include Blackrock; the Interamerican Development Bank (IBD) and IBD Invest; CAF; ICO; the German Development Bank (KFW); Sumitomo Mitsui Banking; and France-based Société Générale

Mar 1 includes rehabilitation and operation of existing highway between Santa Fe de Antioquia and Peñalisa (71 kilometers); construction and operation of a second lane between Medellín and Santa Fe de Antioquia (43 kilometers); the construction and operation of a 4.6-kilometers-long, parallel tunnel (adjacent to the existing Tunnel de Occidente) linking Medellin westward toward Santa Fe de Antioquia; and the construction of 46 bridges.

Once completed, Mar 1 (and the connecting “Mar 2” project) will enable Medellin freight shippers and Colombian coffee exporters to tap a much quicker route to Atlantic ports in the Urabá region of Antioquia.

Today, vehicle transport from Medellín to Necoclí on the Atlantic ocean takes eight hours. But once Mar 1 and Mar 2 are complete, then transport time will be cut to four hours, according to Colombia’s Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI).

Construction companies in the Mar 1 project include Austria-based Strabag and its Swiss-based subsididary Strabag AG Switzerland (with 37.5% share); Sacyr (Sacyr Concessions Colombia and Sacyr Concesiones S.L.) with 37.5%, and Colombia-based Concay, S.A. with 25%.

Pacifico 1-2-3 Projects

On a related front, ANI president Louis Kleyn announced earlier this month that the 293-kilometers-long Pacifico 1-2-3 highways linking Medellin to other highways connecting to the Pacific port of Buenaventura continue to make progress -- although completion on “Pacifico 1” between Medellin and Bolombolo isn’t likely until around 2023.

Currently, freight trucks face a grueling, 15-hour-journey to-and-from Medellin to Buenaventura. But the new Pacifico highways would cut that to 10 hours, according to ANI.

Linking Medellin to the Pacific region on modern, four-lane highways -- including many new tunnels and bridges -- will generate “more international trade from the green mountains that connect southwest Antioquia and the coffee region,” according to ANI.

“The progress in the construction of this great corridor is the result of rigorous and disciplined management in social, environmental, property and contract areas, [along with] confidence generated by banks and investors, both domestic and foreign,” according to the agency.

“To date, Pacífico 1 -- the corridor connecting Bolombolo with La Primavera [Medelliin suburb of Caldas] has an execution of 15%, while Pacífico 2 (connecting Bolombolo to La Pintada) has achieved 64% execution, and Pacífico 3 (La Pintada to La Virginia in Risaralda) has advanced by 54%. These three projects total 119 fronts of active works,” according to ANI.

The works will efficiently connect the centers of inputs and production in the north of the country with the coffee zone, the Valle del Cauca and the Pacific Ocean, will benefit the producers and merchants of the departments of Magdalena, Atlántico, Bolívar, Córdoba, Sucre and Antioquia, in the decrease of travel times.

The department of Antioquia has 1,530 km of national road network, it has a strategic location, not only because of its size, but also because of the maritime and fluvial limits and especially the proximity to rivers such as Cauca and Atrato. Therefore, the 4G tracks that are built and those that will cross it are fundamental for the region, since they will promote social progress and become bridges of international trade.

Currently, the travel time of a truck loaded with cargo from Medellín to Buenaventura can take 15 hours, but with the construction of these projects it will be reduced to 10 hours. The time between Manizales and Medellín will also be reduced, from 4 hours and a half to 2 and a half hours, and from the municipality of La Virginia, in Risaralda, to Medellín, it will go from 5 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes, on average.


ISA 2018 results March 219

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:34 Written by

ISA Full-Year 2018 Profits Rise 6% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based multinational electric power transmission operator and highways concessionaire ISA announced March 7, 2019 that its full-year 2018 net income rose 6% year-on-year, to COP$1.5 trillion (US$483 million).

Revenues also rose 4% year-on-year, to COP$7.2 trillion (US$2.3 billion), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 8.4% year-on-year, to COP$4.8 trillion (US$1.54 billion).

EBITDA margin came-in at a fat 66.5%, or 73% if excluding construction activities during 2018. Return on equity likewise came-in at a favorable 12.8%.

ISA credits the profit gains to “entry into operation of new projects in Peru, Colombia and Chile; the update for inflation of the [power] tariff cycle, the recovery of taxes and [tax deductions from] fiscal losses in Brazil, and lower taxes for the application of the Financing Law in Colombia,” according to the company.

As for fourth quarter (4Q) 2018 profits, ISA netted COP$581 billion (US$187 million), up 116% over 4Q 2017, according to the company.

In ISA’s electric power transportation unit, 4Q 2018 revenues rose 17.8%, to COP$187 billion (US$60 million).

“The variation is explained in Colombia, by the remuneration of the new projects such as the San Antonio Substation (230 kiloVolts) and associated transmission lines; the Ituango-Medellin Substation (Katíos) and the Caribbean Coast reinforcement (500 kiloVots); the Caracolí Substation and associated lines, the charge for connection to the network of the El Bosque transformer project, the extensions of the Nueva Barranquilla substation and the Ternera substation,” according to ISA.

Entry-into-operation of several new transmission lines in Chile along with higher power tariffs in Brazil also boosted revenues, according to the company.

Also in Brasil, ISA’s “Companhia de Transmissão de Energia Elétrica Paulista” (CTEEP) subsidiary completed its first emission of “green bonds,” which will finance “energy infrastructure projects with environmental benefits,” according to ISA

ISA’s highway concessions revenues in Chile dipped slightly in 2018 because of higher maintenance costs and an adjustment in accounts receivable, according to the company.

During 2018, ISA and its subsidiaries invested a total of COP$2.4 trillion (US$772 million) in power transmission, highway concessions, telecommunications infrastructure and technological developments.

What’s more, for the period 2019 through 2023, the company now projects estimated capex investments of COP$10.575 trillion (US$3.46 billion).

ISA’s corporate-wide net assets totaled COP$44.9 trillion (US$14.4 billion), up 3.6% year-on-year. The increase in assets incorporated “entry into operation of new projects in the electric energy transport business in Colombia, Chile and Peru,” as well as the incorporation of assets, profits and revenues from its “TAESA” and “IENNE” power businesses in Brazil, according to the company.


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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.

Medellin Herald welcomes your editorial contributions, comments and story-idea suggestions. Send us a message using the "contact" section.

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