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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.

Written by July 11 2019 0

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.

Written by July 11 2019 0

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.

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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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