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Companies 218

Written by July 11 2019 0

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.

Written by July 11 2019 0

Gran Colombia Gold, Continental Gold Post Net Losses for Full-Year 2018

Toronto-based Gran Colombia Gold (GCC) on March 27, 2019 posted a US$3.4 million net loss for full year 2018, down from a US$36.8 million profit in 2017.

“The net loss in 2018 includes $28.4 million of losses on financial instruments, primarily triggered by the extinguishment of the 2020 and 2024 debentures in the second quarter, and a $7.6 million charge for the costs associated with the offering completed in the second quarter of 2018,” according to GCC.

Net profits in 2017 included a reversal of a US$45.3 million impairment of its principal asset: the Segovia gold-mining operations in Antioquia.

For fourth quarter (4Q) 2018, adjusted net income rose to US$14.3 million, up from US$9.1 million in 4Q 2017.

The year-on-year improvement “reflected the favorable impact on income tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2018 arising from the Colombian tax reform measures announced in December 2018 that will see a further reduction in future income tax rates,” according to GCC.

Commenting on the results, GCC executive chairman Serafino Iacono noted that “2018 was a watershed year “ with gold production surpassing 200,000 ounces for the first time, up 25% from 2017, “as our high-grade Segovia operations delivered another solid year with [gold yield per ton of rock mined] at over 17 grams per ton.”

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 36% year-on-year, “surpassing the $100 million mark for the first time, and being a key catalyst in the 58% increase in our operating cash flow to almost $80 million and the 72% increase in our free cash flow to $44 million,” according to Iacono.

“Our debt refinancing earlier in 2018 did exactly what we hoped for, lifting the dilution overhang off of our stock -- and we strengthened our balance sheet, increasing our cash and cash equivalents to $35.6 million, while reducing our debt by 37% to $88.3 million by the end of 2018,” he added.

Full-year 2018 revenues jumped 25% year-on-year, to US$268.5 million, “largely driven by the production growth and a modest improvement in realized gold prices to an average of $1,239 per ounce in 2018,” according to GCC.

“In 2019, revenue will benefit from lower charges in our new refining contract that the company entered into in January 2019 with an international refinery, saving as much as $20 per ounce sold. The company will also be paid faster under the new refining contract, a benefit to operating cash flow.”

Meanwhile, GCC expects its Segovia operations will produce between 186,000 to 199,000 ounces of gold this year, while its corporate-wide production should be in a range of 210,000 to 225,000 ounces, according to the company.

Continental Gold Results

As for Continental, this Toronto-based miner posted a US$31.6 million loss for 2018, more than the US$7.8 million loss in 2017.

The company’s main asset is its in-development Buritica, Antioquia gold mine, due for production start-up in 2021.

The bigger net losses in 2018 versus 2017 were the result of "increasing construction activities in each of the comparative years, net of financing proceeds received from the credit facility in 2018 and 2017; the issuance of shares in 2017 and 2016; and the transfer of collateral deposits to restricted cash in 2018," according to Continental.

Exploration expenses hit US$2.5 million in 2018 versus US$300,000 in 2017, mainly because of "initiation of exploration activities at the Berlin [Antioquia], Dojura [Choco] and southern Colombia [mining] projects in late 2017," according to Continental.

Written by July 11 2019 0

EPM Full-Year 2018 Profits Rise 4% Despite Hidroituango Problems

Medellin-based multinational electric power giant EPM reported March 26, 2019 that its full-year 2018 net profits rose 4% year-on-year, to COP$2.4 trillion (US$758 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 8% year-on-year, to COP$5.1 trillion (US$1.6 billion), while revenues rose 9%, to COP$16.3 trillion (US$5.1 billion).

The company highlighted the entry-into-service of the gigantic Aguas Claras sewage-treatment plant in suburban Bello last year, dramatically reducing contamination of Rio Medellin. The company also boosted clean drinking-water supplies to many more areas.

“Thanks to the good results of last year, during 2019 the municipality of Medellín will be able to fund social investment programs worth COP$1.3 trillion,” added EPM, which is 100% owned by the city of Medellin.

“In a difficult year due to the [diversion-tunnel collapse] at the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, the EPM Group nevertheless achieved positive financial results in 2018,” according to the company.

“On the path towards [utilities services] universalization, the EPM Group reached 2018 coverage in energy services and water supply in excess of 96%” in its Colombia service areas, said EPM president Jorge Londoño de la Cuesta.

“In wastewater treatment, we reached 93.3% and, in Medellin, in solid waste we achieved 99.21%, while in [natural] gas we [service] 84.63% in the region,” he added.

“In addition, our business group undertook directly and in conjunction with other actors in the country a series of environmental actions that enabled protection of 21,282 hectares of forests in 2018, for an accumulated 57,321 hectares in the period 2016-2018.”

Total assets rose 11% year-on-year, to COP$52.5 trillion (US$16.6 billion), while debt rose 15%, to COP$30.5 trillion (US$9.6 billion), because of “disbursement of credits to finance the general investment plan and the Hidroituango hydroelectric project,” according to the company.

Written by July 11 2019 0

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.

Written by July 11 2019 0

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.

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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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