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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.

Written by July 11 2019 0

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.

Written by July 11 2019 0

Cemex LatAm 4Q 2018 Net Profits Slip, Colombia Sales Dip

Bogota-based cement/concrete manufacturing giant Cemex LatAm Holdings announced February 7, 2019 that its fourth-quarter (4Q) 2018 region-wide net profits fell 33% year-on-year, to US$10 million, from US$33 million in 4Q 2017.

But full-year 2018 profits improved 36% year-on-year, to US$63 million, from US$46 million in 2017, according to the company, which operates in Colombia, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

As for its Colombia operations, full-year 2018 sales slipped 7% year-on-year, to US$524 million, while 4Q 2018 sales dipped 6% year-on-year, to US$125 million, from US$134 million in 4Q 2017, according to Cemex.

Colombian sales of grey cement for full-year 2018 dipped 6% year-on-year, but rose 4% in 4Q 2018, while Colombian concrete sales fell 11% for full-year 2018 and by 8% in 4Q 2018.

Sales of aggregates in Colombia declined 14% for full-year 2018 and 15% in 4Q 2018 versus 4Q 2017, according to the company.

Cemex foresees 2019 demand for cement in Colombia either flat or rising by 1%, while demand for concrete and aggregates would rise by 1% to 3%, according to the company. Product prices also began to recover slightly in the Colombian market during 4Q 2018, according to the company.

Colombia’s residential-sector demand rose slightly during 4Q 2018, according to Cemex, especially in the “informal” and “self-built” housing segments.

For these lower-income “social housing” sectors, “there are encouraging signs for the future, given that sales and construction permits through September 2018 rose by 5% and 15% respectively . . . supported by continuing government subsidies,” according to the company.

However, the middle- and upper-income housing sectors continue to face challenges as new-starts and housing-permit applications had fallen 18% through September 2018, and inventories in these sectors remains relatively high, at 16-months turnover rate.

As for the Colombian infrastructure sector (highways, airports, tunnels, hospitals, sewage-treatment plants, schools, marine ports), 4Q 2018 demand continued relatively strong, according to the company.

Cemex dispatched its products to 15 “fourth-generation” (4G) highway projects including the “Mar 1” and “Vias del Nus” projects in Antioquia, plus others elsewhere including “Autopista al Rio Magdalena 2;” “Bucaramanga-Barranca-Yondó;” “Bucaramanga-Pamplona;” and “Pasto-Rumichaca.” Cemex achieved 36% market participation in 4G projects during 2018.

For the rest of 2019, Cemex expects demand for cement in Colombian infrastructure proejcts to rise by low-single-digits, including several large road-building projects in Bogota, according to the company.

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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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