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Written by May 13 2022 0

Medellin-based construction giant Construcciones El Condor on May 13 posted a COP$9.4 billion (US$2.28 million) net loss for first quarter (1Q) 2022, an improvement over the COP$51 billion (US$12.4 million) net loss in 1Q 2021.

Gross revenues were nearly flat year-on-year, at COP$164 billion (US$40 million) in 1Q 2022 versus COP$165 billion (US$40.1 million) in 1Q 2021, according to the company.

“Revenues for this period are mainly driven by the EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] contracts with the Concesiones Autopista Rio Magdalena, Ruta al Mar y Pacífico Tres, and the construction contracts with the Ruta al Sur Concession and Invias (El Toyo),” according to El Condor.

“Operating costs as of March 2022 were COP$133 billion [US$32 million], decreasing 9% compared to the same period in 2021. Gross profit was COP$28 billion [US$6.8 million], equivalent to a gross margin of 17.36%.

“Operating profit amounted to COP$22.4 billion [US$5.4 million], equivalent to 5.45% of revenues.

“Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached COP$33.4 billion [US$8.1 million], with an EBITDA margin of 20.76%,” up from 12.91% margin in 1Q 2021, the company added.

“This result is due to the ascending pace of execution that all work fronts have and is in line with the EBITDA margins generated by the company in the years prior to the pandemic and the transition of the renewal of the backlog that it faced in 2021,” the company added

Meanwhile, in March 2022, Construcciones El Cóndor won contracts to continue works on the Magdalena River Highway Project 2. “The absolute maximum price of the new intervention amounts to COP$756 billion [US$184 million], of which the company will receive an advance payment of COP$70 billion [US$17 million],” according to the company.

Commenting on the Colombian economy and its infrastructure sector, El Condor added: “Market analysts project that the variation in the Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 would be 7.8%. This growth would be mainly driven by the agriculture and real estate services sectors. The construction sector is projected to have a stable behavior for this quarter.”

At the end of 1Q 2022, El Condor reported a construction backlog for contracts worth COP$3.47 trillion (US$844 million).

Written by May 13 2022 0

Toronto-based GCM Mining announced May 12 that its first quarter (1Q) 2022 adjusted net income fell to US$14.8 million, from US$21.9 million in 1Q 2021.

“Net earnings in the first quarter 2021 included the benefit of a US$56.9 million gain on loss of control of Aris, a US$42.8 million gain on financial instruments and a US$8.9 million gain on sale of the Zancudo Project, offset partially by US$9.8 million of transaction costs incurred by Aris in connection with the loss of control in early 2021,” according to GCM, formerly known as Gran Colombia Gold.

The 1Q 2022 adjusted results also reflect a US$4 million decrease in income from operations together with a $2.5 million increase in finance costs and an increase in income tax expense due to the tax rate increase in Colombia effective in 2022," according to the company.

Commenting on the results, GCM CEO Lombardo Paredes stated: “We have started-off 2022 on a positive note, meeting our expectations for production, costs and cash flow in the first quarter.

“We are on track to once again meet our annual production guidance for 2022. Following the favorable mineral reserve and resource update at Segovia [Antioquia], our exploration and mine geology teams have continued to execute the ongoing drilling campaigns at our four producing mines and the brownfield areas in our mining title.

“At our Toroparu Project in Guyana, we are advancing the infill drilling and the pre-construction activities. We are on track to finalize the prefeasibility study in the third quarter of 2022, at which point formal construction of the project is expected to commence.”

GCM’s 1Q 2022 gold production from its Segovia operations totaled 49,951 ounces, up 2% over 1Q 2021, and the company expects annual production this year at between 210,000 and 225,000 ounces of gold.

Meanwhile, GCM's new polymetallic recovery plant constructed in 2021 at Segovia produced approximately 252,000 pounds of payable zinc and 338,000 pounds of payable lead during 1Q 2022, according to the company.

Consolidated revenue, “all of which was sourced from the Segovia operations in the first quarter of 2022, amounted to US$101.3 million compared with $101.9 million in the first quarter last year, which included $5.1 million from Aris Gold Corporation -- prior to the loss of control of Aris on February 4, 2021,” according to GCM.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 1Q 2022 dipped slightly year-on-year, to US$45.2 million, from US$46.3 million in 1Q 2021, according to the company.

“GCM Mining’s balance sheet remained strong with a cash position of US$315.1 million at March 31, 2022,” according to the company.

“The company also has US$138 million of funding available for construction of its Toroparu Project in Guyana through a precious metals stream facility with Wheaton Precious Metals (Caymans) Ltd. Other than scheduled interest payments, the company has no maturities of its long-term debt in the next 12 months,” the company added.

Written by May 13 2022 0

Medellin-based textiles and plastics-recycling specialist Enka Colombia announced today (May 13) that its first quarter (1Q) consolidated net income was essentially flat year-on-year, at COP$13.79 billion (US$3.35 million), versus COP$13.78 billion (US$3.35 million) in 1Q 2021.

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dipped slightly, to COP$17.1 billion (US$4.15 million) in 1Q 2022, versus COP$17.5 billion (US$4.25 million) in 1Q 2021.

Consolidated operating income likewise came-in essentially unchanged at COP$155.78 billion (US$37.8 million) for 1Q 2022, versus COP$155.97 billion (US$37.89 million) in 1Q 2021.

“The year 2022 begins with a solid behavior of the demand, which has allowed us to maintain good sales levels in strategic markets,” according to Enka. Positive results came from an “increase in international prices as a result of the high prices of the petrochemical chain and high global demand, and at a higher rate exchange” between the Colombian peso and the U.S. dollar, according to the company.

While EBITDA remained steady as measured in pesos, “the EBITDA margin showed a decrease of 15%, to 11%, due to the effect of transferring higher production costs to sales prices,” according to Enka.

On other 1Q 2022 fronts, Enka noted investments of COP$59 billion in a new “EKO-PET” recycling plant, “advancing under estimated schedules and budgets.”

Assets during the quarter rose by COP$48 billion (US$11.6 million), to COP$732 billion (US$177.8 million), while liabilities rose COP$33 billion (US$8 million), to COP$253 billion (US$61 million). “The debt ratio ends at 0.6-times EBITDA, increasing compared to the end of 2021 (0.15-x EBITDA) -- but at healthy levels for future investments,” according to the company.

During 1Q 2022, exports totaled US$18.9 million, accounting for 47% of total sales -- better than the 40% share seen in 1Q 2021, once including the impact of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste-plastic sales.

For all of its “green” waste-plastics recycling businesses, Enka saw a 45% year-on-year over-all hike in revenues, “mainly due to higher international prices that offset a 5% lower sales volume,” according to the company.

“The capture of plastic bottles grew by 25% compared to 1Q 2021, fulfilling the growth plan of the collection network with a view to supplying the-entry-into operation of the new 'EKO-PET' plant,” according to Enka.

Meanwhile, the “EKO-Fibras” line saw sales dip 7%, mainly because of an increase in “Asian imports at low prices and closure of Coltejer” textile production in Medellin.  “However, the exports grew 19%, driven by new developments for Geotextiles, made from bottles of colors that are difficult to recycle,” according to Enka.

On the other hand, the “EKO-Polyolefins” line saw sales rise by 28%, mainly for the local market rather than exports.

Textile/Industrial Businesses

Once excluding the production of virgin PET, textile revenues grew 51% year-on-year, “mainly due to the strong increase in international prices. Exports reached US$17.2 million, which represents 63% of the income from this line and 91% of the company’s total exports,” according to Enka.

The industrial yarns line saw a 6% hike in volume, “with growth in both canvas for tires as well as technical yarns, thanks to the good behavior of the demand in United States and the recovery of the Brazilian market,” according to Enka.

As for textile filaments, this line grew 6.3%, “mainly in exports, both in Argentina and Brazil, which offset the reactivation of Asian imports Asian in the local market,” according to the company.

Written by May 13 2022 0

Medellin-based cement, electric-power, real-estate and airport/highways conglomerate Grupo Argos announced May 12 that its first quarter (1Q) 2022 net income rose 65% year-on-year, to COP$315 billion (US$77 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA rose 28%, to COP$1.2 trillion (US$293 million), while revenues rose 23.6%, to COP$4.6 trillion (US$1.12 billion), according to the company.

“Increased revenues from the sales of goods and services during 1Q 2022 is mainly explained by increased contributions from the Celsia electric power group (+COP$328 billion/US$80 million), Cementos Argos (+COP$260 billion/US$63 million), and the Opain concessions business (+COP$139 billion/US$34 million),” according to Grupo Argos.

“Increased costs and expenses for the period (+ 24% YOY) were due to increasing variable costs due to higher sales volumes during the period and to cost inflation occurring in all sectors, but particularly in the cement business where the cost of fuel has increased substantially.

“Financial expenses for the quarter increased 27.5% year-over-year due to higher index rates even with a reduction in overall debt during the period,” the company added.

Real Estate Business Boost

“The real estate business achieved historical figures in 1Q 2022, with positive net cash flow and EBITDA,” according to Grupo Argos.

“This is a milestone for the real estate business as all property taxes are paid during the first quarter and deeding plots is difficult because of a lack of free-and-clear certificates.

“This was achieved thanks to property tax management by the team, where this expenditure was reduced by 11%, and deeding of a plot for building a Four Seasons Hotel in Baru [near Cartagena].

“This business deal, signed in November 2021, required timely management of the land division license with the Cartagena authorities. This procedure was approved in December 2021, and, after meeting certain legal deadlines, we were able to divide and sell the property,” netting Argos COP$40 billion (US$9.7 million).

“We also highlight the signing of a promise of sale for COP$17 billion [US$4 million] for a housing project in Barranquilla of which we received COP$5 billion [US$1.2 million) this [first] quarter. The above figures plus customer interest and ongoing negotiations allow us to foresee a positive year for the real estate business,” the company added.

Odinsa Concessions Revenues Dip

As for the Odinsa airport/highway concessions business, gross revenues dipped 15% year-on-year.

Revenues from the road concessions business fell 30% year-on-year, to COP$157 billion (US$38 million). “This decrease is mainly due to deconsolidation of the concessions in the Dominican Republic concessions, which were terminated in advance at the end of 2021,” according to Grupo Argos.

“All other concessions in Colombia -- Túnel de Oriente, Autopistas del Café, Malla Vial del Meta, and Green Corridor -- made positive contributions to year-over-year variations in revenue, except for Pacifico 2, with a 33% decline in contributions via the equity method,” according to Argos.

In the airport concessions business, Odinsa saw 1Q 2022 year-on-year gains in revenue, EBITDA, and net income “as a result of an evident recovery in passenger traffic,” according to the company.

Over-all, Grupo Argos consolidated financial debt ended 1Q 2022 at COP$1.9 trillion (US$464 million), down 35% year-on-year.

“This reduction corresponds mainly to deconsolidation of the debt from Autopistas del Nordeste and Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico and early payment of debt in Odinsa Holding and Odinsa SA,” according to the company.

During the latest quarter, cost of debt in as expressed in U.S. dollars rose 39 basis points, while cost of debt expressed in COP increased 475 basis points “explained by the increases Bank of the Republic interest rates, higher inflation, and other index rates,” according to Grupo Argos.

Written by May 12 2022 0

Medellin-based multinational banking giant Bancolombia announced today (May 12) that its first quarter (1Q) 2022 net income skyrocketed 219% year-on-year, to COP$1.73 trillion (US$421 million), from COP$542 billion (US$132 million) in 1Q 2021.

Interest income grew 26% year-on-year, while interest expense rose only 13.7%, thus yielding a net 31% gain.

Assets likewise grew 15% year-on-year, to COP$291 trillion (US$70.8 billion), while liabilities rose 13.7%, to COP$259 trillion (US$63 billion), according to the company.

Gross loans amounted to COP$222 trillion (US$54 billion), up 12.9% year-on-year. When excluding the COP/U.S. dollar effect, the loan bookings rose 12.1%.

During the latest quarter, the Colombian peso appreciated 5.7% against the U.S. dollar, but had depreciated 2.1% against the dollar over the last 12 months. The average peso/dollar exchange rate was 4.4% higher in 1Q 2022 versus 4Q 2021 and 9.9% higher in the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, “retail loans continue with an increasing dynamism while gaining share within the total portfolio on a consolidated basis,” according to Bancolombia.

“Net interest margin expanded from 5.3% in 4Q 2021 to 6.0% in 1Q 2022. This performance is due to higher interest rates driven by the current contractionary monetary policy in Colombia.

“Total provision charges net for 1Q 2022 was COP$267 billion [US$65 million], which indicates a low cost of risk when compared to a normalized level, led by loan-losses provision releases in line with better asset quality trends,” the company added.

During the last 12 months peso-denominated loans grew 14.3% and dollar-denominated loans grew 7.8%.

At the end of 1Q 2022, Bancolombia’s “Banco Agricola” operations in El Salvador, “Banistmo” in Panama and “BAM” in Guatemala represented 26% of total gross loans.

“Gross loans denominated in currencies other than COP -- generated by operations in Central America, the international operation of Bancolombia Panamá, Puerto Rico and the U.S. dollar- denominated loans in Colombia -- accounted for 33.3% of the portfolio, and decreased 3.8% in the quarter when expressed in COP terms,” according to the company.

“During 1Q 2022, as seen in previous quarters, a growing trend on the loan portfolio persists at the consolidated level, increasing across all geographies.

“Banco Agromercantil [BAM] denotes the highest quarterly growth (6.1% when measured in U.S. dollars), showing good results in all loan categories. The increase of 11.3% in the consumer portfolio is in-line with the strong performance from 2021, gradually gaining market share in Guatemala.

“The operation in Colombia shows a 3.1% growth in the loan balance, again with a positive performance in individuals. When analyzing the annual variation, products such as payrolls and credit cards stand out in retail, as well as mortgages growing 15.9%.

“Banco Agricola reports a positive performance across all segments, growing 1.2% (measured in U.S. dollars) during the latest quarter. The credit portfolio continues to show a balanced share in commercial and retail, representing 43% and 42% respectively within the total loan book, without major changes over the past 12 months.

“Banistmo reveals a 0.1% growth (measured in U.S. dollars) during the quarter. Originations maintain an encouraging trend not only in commercial loans but also in retail and home-lending.”

As for electronic digital-banking efforts, “Bancolombia shows a positive trend in line with 2021 results. As of March 2022, the bank has 6.8 million active digital customers in the retail app, as well as 17.6 million accounts in its financial inclusion platforms -- 6.1 million users in ‘Bancolombia a la Mano’ and 11.5 million in ‘Nequi,’” 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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