Sunday, December 15, 2019

Become part of our community

captcha 

Bancolombia Unveils No-Extra-Cost, Zero-Emissions Electric-Truck Rental Scheme

Medellin-based multinational banking giant Bancolombia announced March 12, 2019 that it’s now offering companies the opportunity to rent all-electric, zero-emissions delivery trucks in Colombia’s major cities – at the same cost as conventional trucks.

The goal is to put into circulation 1,000 electric trucks over the next three years, replacing diesel- and gasoline-powered trucks that today are causing much of the air pollution in Medellin, Bogota and other major cities, according to Bancolombia’s “Renting Colombia” subsidiary.

Major companies in Colombia including Nutresa, Bimbo, Bavaria, Colombina and Éxito are already testing these electric trucks, in an alliance with Medellin-based electric vehicle marketer Auteco, according to Bancolombia.

The scheme enables both smaller and larger companies to rent rather than buy the trucks, at a cost of operation “equal to that of [trucks] with traditional gasoline or diesel combustion, so in this way overcoming the [initial purchase price] limitation” of electric trucks, according to Bancolombia.

Besides eliminating toxic particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, the electric trucks also slash net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions -- since most of Colombia’s electric power comes from zero-emissions hydroelectric plants.

“Launching the first [nationwide] fleet of electric trucks in Colombia responds to our commitment to do business well and sustainable,” explained Bancolombia president Juan Carlos Mora.

The electric trucks being offered are local delivery trucks rated between three to 10 tons. These are the type of trucks that are the most numerous in Colombia’s biggest cities.

Diesel-powered delivery trucks are so numerous in big cities that they cause 50% more total pollution than dump trucks, 400% more than buses and 500% more than cars, according to Bancolombia.

Hence eliminating such high-polluting vehicles would help cities including Medellin and Bogota to slash pollution that today has forced city officials to enact severe “pico y placa” driving restrictions on vehicles (depending on license-plate numbers), Bancolombia noted.

Switching just 1,000 delivery trucks to zero-emission electric power will slash CO2 emissions by 24,800 tons over three years, equivalent to the CO2-removal work of 1.5 million trees, the company noted.

The latest-generation electric trucks employ new technologies that deliver 40% more power than a conventional diesel- or gasolina-powered truck, according to Auteco.

While an electric truck will consume an anual average of 11,300 kiloWatt-hours of electricity at a total cost of COP$5 million (US$1,590), an equivalent diesel truck would consume 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel and 10 gallons of lube oils, costing a total of COP$12 million (US$3,815), or more than twice as much as the electric truck, Bancolombia noted.


Conconcreto Full-Year 2018 Profits Dip Slightly Year-on-Year

Medellin-based construction giant Constructora Conconcreto reported February 26, 2019 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.


Coltejer, Fabricato Post Net Losses for Full-Year 2018:Textile Contraband Boss Arrested

Medellin-based textile giant Coltejer revealed in a March 5, 2019 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.

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.


Expats Rank Colombia In Top-10 For Best Living: InterNations Survey

Germany-based expat-connections promoter InterNations announced March 28, 2019 that its latest “Expat Insider” survey of more than 18,000 expatriates in 187 countries found that Colombia continues to rank relatively high globally for quality-of-life, cost-of-living and ease in making new friends.

Colombia took the number-one-overall spot globally for “personal finance,” number-five for favorable “cost-of-living,” and number seven for “ease of making friends,” according to InterNations.

Survey participants were asked to rate up to 48 different aspects of expat life on a scale of one to seven. Responses were then bundled in subcategories, following which mean values were used to draw up six indices: quality-of-life, ease of settling-in, working abroad, family life, personal finance and cost-of-living.

When including all six of these categories, Bahrain took the number-one over-all spot globally, followed by Taiwan, Ecuador, Mexico, Singapore, Portugal, Costa Rica, Spain, Colombia (in ninth place) and finally Czechia.

“Colombia and Vietnam are still financial paradises for expats,” according to InterNations.

“The personal finance index is based on two rating questions with a scale of one to seven: expats’ perception of their financial situation and whether they consider their income enough to cover all living expenses. The first question carried double the weight when the average ratings were combined to create this index.

“For the second year in a row, Colombia and Vietnam are the two best expat destinations in terms of personal finance. This time, though, Colombia claims first place.

“Following the country’s impressive jump from ranking 19th in 2016 to 2nd in 2017, Colombia has made the final push to the top in the 2018 survey. It also tops the ranking for the respondents’ satisfaction with their financial situation abroad [as] 84% are generally satisfied, and over a third (34%) even give this factor the highest possible rating,” according to InterNations.

As for Colombia’s seventh-best global ranking for “ease of making friends,” the survey found that 73% find it easy to make local friends and 84% are happy with their life in general.

“Close to three-quarters of expats (73%) find it is easy to make both new friends (versus 57% globally) and local friends (versus 45% globally) in Colombia,” according to InterNations.

“In fact, 35% of expats say that their friends are mostly local residents, which is close to twice the global average (19%). What might have helped is that 57% of expats living in the country say they speak the local [Spanish] language fairly or even very well (versus 46% globally), and for another 17% it is their mother tongue (versus 11% globally).”

Quoting one USA expat now living in Colombia, the InterNations report stated: “It is not easy to learn the [Spanish] language, but tutors are inexpensive and widely available.”

Three-quarters of expats (75%) also said that they feel at home in the Colombian culture, compared to just 60% of respondents globally, the survey found.


Valores Simesa 2018 results February 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:21 Written by

Valores Simesa Full-Year 2018 Profits Double Year-on-Year

Medellin-based commercial real estate investor Valores Simesa revealed February 14, 2019 in a filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera agency that its full-year 2018 after-tax profits rose to COP$24 billion (US$8 million), up from COP$12 billion (US$4 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 the Modern Art Museum.

Besides real-estate holdings, 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.


Orbis Pintuco 2018 results February 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:19 Written by

Orbis Posts US$1 Million Net Loss for Full-Year 2018

Medellin-based multinational paints and building-supplies manufacturer Grupo Orbis revealed February 14, 2019 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.


Nutresa 2018 results February 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:15 Written by

Nutresa Full-Year 2018 Net Profits Jump 20% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based multinational processed foods giant Nutresa announced February 22, 2019 that its full-year 2018 net income rose 20% year-on-year, to COP$508 billion (US$155 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbed 7% year-on-year, hitting COP$1.1 trillion (US$336 million), while sales rose 3.7% and EBITDA margin came-in at 12.5%, according to the company.

Sales in Colombia grew 4.4% year-on-year, to COP$5.7 trillion (US$1.7 billion), according to Nutresa. International sales meanwhile rose 2.3%, to US$1.1 billion.

Costs of operations fell 42% year-on-year thanks to lower financing costs, lower debt levels and lower interest, according to the company.

Grupo Nutresa – founded in 1920 – now boasts of having some 45,600 employees in eight business units, including processed meats, baked goods, chocolates, pastas, coffees, ice creams and packaged foods.

The company also operates 46 production plants in 14 countries, while its products are sold in 81 countries across five continents.


Grupo Argos 2018 results February 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:14 Written by

Grupo Argos Full-Year 2018 Profits Jump 32% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based cement, electric power and airport/highway concessionaire Grupo Argos announced February 23, 2019 that its full-year 2018 net income jumped 32% year-on-year, to COP$1.2 trillion (US$386 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) hit a record COP$4 trillion (US$1.28 billion), while EBITDA margin came-in at 28%, according to the company.

In its Argos cement/concrete division, “the opportunities of the Colombian capital market were exploited and the [public stock-buying] participation was increased to 58% in ordinary shares,” according to the company.

As for its Celsia electric-power division, “the issuance of shares by Celsia was subscribed for an amount of COP$780 billion [US$251 million],” while in the Celsia airport/highways concession business, “the process of delisting of Odinsa was completed,” as Grupo Argos now holds 99.84% of all shares.

“These [2018] results place us in a privileged position and with optimism to continue promoting the development of infrastructure in our country, a fundamental pillar of competitiveness and progress for Colombia,” added Grupo Argos president Jorge Mario Velásquez.

At year-end 2018, Grupo Argos assets rose to COP$49 trillion (US$15.7 billion), the company added.

As for fourth quarter (4Q) results, Grupo Argos saw net income soar 248% year-on-year, to COP$330 billion (US$106 million), while 4Q 2018 EBITDA rose 14% year-on-year, according to the company.

During 2018, the Odinsa division boasted that the “Pacifico 2” fourth-generation (4G) highway construction project in Antioquia reached 59% completion, or eight percentage points ahead of schedule.

In the Celsia power division, Argos invested COP$618 billion (US$199 million) mainly in renewable, non-conventional energies.

At Cementos Argos, a novel efficiency scheme boosted that division’s net profit to COP$179 billion (US$57 million), while its holdings in the “Pactica” real-estate development partnership closed 2018 with property transactions of nearly COP$140 billion (US$45 million), “an unprecedented figure for this business group,” according to Argos.


Construcciones El Condor Full-Year 2018 Net Income Dips Year-on-Year, but 4Q Profits Soar

Medellin-based highway construction specialist Construcciones El Condor announced February 28, 2019 that its full-year 2018 consolidated net income hit COP$112.6 billion (US$36 million), down from COP$183 billion (US$59 million) but explained by a non-recurring sales gain in 2017.

Operating income during 2018 included COP$1 trillion (US$324 million) for sale of services plus COP$11 billion (US$3.6 million) for 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.


Colombia’s national economics statistics agency (DANE, Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadistica) on February 28 revealed that its latest studies indicate national gross domestic product (“PIB” in Spanish initials) hit 2.7% for full-year 2018, up from a feeble 1.4% in 2017.

Meanwhile, Fedesarollo – Colombia’s leading economic think-tank – now foresees a continuing rebound in the national economy, with GDP likely hitting about 3.3% this year and gradually increasing to around 3.8% GDP by 2022.

For 2018, relatively strong growth (4.1%) came in public administration and defense; compulsory social security plans; education; health care activities and social services, according to DANE.

Wholesale and retail sectors, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, lodging and food service sectors meanwhile grew by 3.1%, according to DANE.

Professional, scientific and technical activities, as well as administrative and support services activities grew by 5.0%, according to DANE.

Mining and quarrying, however, declined by 0.8% year-on-year, including a 12% drop in extraction of metalliferous minerals and a 6.7% drop in extraction of coal and lignite.

Extraction of crude oil and natural gas and support activities grew by 1.4%

In manufacturing, this sector grew by 2.0%, mainly thanks to a 3.7% hike in manufacture of furniture, mattresses and mattresses, and a 3.2% hike in production of food products, beverages and tobacco products.

The study also found a 2.2% hike in sectors including manufacture of basic metallurgical products; manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment; manufacture of electrical apparatus and equipment; manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products; manufacture of machinery and equipment; manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; manufacture of other types of transport equipment, and installation, maintenance and specialized repair of machinery and equipment.

Manufacture of textile products; clothing; tanning and retanning of hides; footwear manufacturing; manufacture of travel articles, suitcases, handbags and similar articles; and manufacture of saddlery and saddlery articles decreased by 0.2% year-on-year.

In construction, growth came-in at a relatively weak 0.3% year-on-year, with residential and non-residential building growth at 1.0%, while “specialized activities for the construction of buildings and civil engineering works (rental of machinery and construction equipment with operators) decreased by 0.9%,” according to DANE.

Construction of roads and railways, public service projects and other civil engineering works also decreased by 0.6%.

The information and communications sector grew by 3.1% year-on-year, identical to the growth in the financial and insurance sector, according to DANE.

As for real estate activities, this sector grew 2.0% year-on-year, according to DANE.


Page 8 of 44

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.

Contact US

logo def
Medellin Herald: Find news, information, reviews and opinion on business, events, conferences, congresses, education, real estate, investing, retiring and more.
  • COL (4) 386 06 27
  • USA (1) 305 517 76 35
  •  www.medellinherald.com 
  •  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

Medellín Photo Galery

Medellin, contrasting colors and styles by Gabriel Buitrago

MPGMPGMPGMPGMPGMPGMPGMPGMPGMPGMPGnav