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Companies 313

Written by March 02 2020 0

Medellin-based highway, tunnel and buildings-construction giant Constructora Conconcreto on March 2 reported an 11% decline year-on-in full-year 2019 profits, to COP$64.8 billion (US$18 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also dipped 13%, to COP$170 billion (US$48 million), while gross revenues fell 12%, to COP$945 billion (US$268 million), according to the company.

Conconcreto blamed the dip in profits in part on lower revenues, as well as delays in approvals for housing and commercial construction projects, plus a COP$21 billion (US$5.9 million) fine imposed by Colombia’s Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) for alleged anti-competitive practices relating to bids on a Bogotá-Girardot highway construction project.

On the positive side, Conconcreto cited its completion of concrete lining of the giant “Tunel de la Linea” project in 2019, which soon will ease crucial freight movements between Bogota and the Pacific port of Buenaventura.

Project backlogs registered in 2020 eventually would generate revenues worth some $2.8 trillion (US$795 million), up from COP$1.5 trillion (US$426 million) registered in 2019.

Another proposed project that could deliver more income for Conconcreto is the proposed “double calzada oriente” (DCO) project east of Medellin between the Las Palmas highway and the Tablazo sector near the Jose Maria Cordoba (JMC) international airport, according to the company.

The DCO project is up for bidding with a March 25, 2020 deadline, according to the company.

Written by February 28 2020 0

Medellin-based highway construction giant Construcciones El Condor on February 27 reported a 37% decline in full-year 2019 profits, to COP$73 billion (US$20.6 million) – principally due to a COP$74 billion (US$20.8 million) temporary write-down of its participation in the “Vías de las Américas” highway project.

Full-year 2019 revenues from ordinary activities totaled COP$875 billion (US$247 million), including operating revenues of COP$720 billion (US$203 million), or 82.33% of revenues from ordinary activities. Administrative expenses reached 3.75%, according to El Condor.

Operating margin at the end of 2019 was 25% of revenues, including a non-recurring event -- the October 2019 sale of its partial stake in the “Concesión Túnel Aburrá Oriente,” the new highway tunnel that connects Medellin to the JMC International airport at Rionegro.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) hit COP$202 billion (US$57 million) with an EBITDA margin of 23% -- including its sale of the stake in the Túnel Aburrá Oriente. Excluding that sale, EBITDA was COP$162 billion (US$45.8 million) equivalent to an EBITDA margin of 18.5%, according to the company.

Total assets at year-end 2019 were COP$2.24 trillion (US$633 million), of which 47% are current assets and 53% non-current assets, according to the company.

Liabilities decreased 10% compared to 2018 and closed at COP$1.16 trillion (US$328 million). Of that total, 54% of liabilities are current -- down 79% year-on-year.

“Financial debt ended 2019 at COP$713 billion (US$201 million) represented by COP$539 billion (US$152 million) of bank loans and bonds, and COP$173 billion (US$49 million) of leasing,” according to the company

As for fourth quarter (4Q) 2019 results, revenues rose 3.5% year-on-year, to COP$237 billion (US$67 million), while operating costs were COP$180 billion (US$51 million), or 75.9% of revenues, “contributing greatly to the improvement of the accumulated results,” according to El Condor.

Operating profit for 4Q 2019 was COP$89 billion (US$25 million), including the sale of the Tunel del Oriente. Excluding that sale, operating profit was COP$48 billion (US$13.5 million), up 100% over 4Q 2018 operating profit.

Net income for 4Q 2019 was COP$78 billion (US$22 million), according to the company.

Consolidated net worth as of December 2019 was COP$1.08 trillion (US$305 million), while the working capital indicator -- calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets -- was COP$462 billion (US$130.6 million).

Meanwhile, the company’s construction backlog -- the balance between works-contracted and works to-be-executed -- was COP$1.03 trillion (US$291 million).

“This calculation takes into account COP$237 billion (US$67 million) of the turnover executed during the [latest] quarter for construction services, discounting dividends and income not associated with said services,” according to El Condor.

Written by February 28 2020 0

Medellin-based multinational insurance, pensions and finance giant Grupo Sura on February 27 reported a full-year 2019 27.9% hike in net income year-on-year, to COP$1.7 trillion (US$523.8 million) – an all-time high.

Revenues also rose 13.3% year-on-year, to COP$21.9 trillion (US$6.68 billion), while expenses rose less -- by 12.3%.

While Sura’s corporate-wide, full-year 2019 profits rose, fourth-quarter (4Q) 2019 net income actually dipped 5% year-on-year, to COP$226 billion (US$64 million).

Despite the 4Q profits dip, 4Q 2019 revenues actually rose 9% year-on-year, to COP$5.7 trillion (US$1.6 billion), according to the company.

The company mainly credited its full-year 2019 record net income to “sound levels of business performance recorded by Sura Asset Management and Suramericana” as well as its profitable holdings in Medellin-based multinational banking giant Bancolombia and Medellin-based pension-fund administrator Protección.

“This level of performance was made possible even in what was a demanding social and economic environment, taking into account the impact that Argentina’s complex macroeconomic reality had on our operating performance as well as the recent protests in Chile and the current situation of the Colombian health care system,” according to the company.

Consolidated operating income also rose 19.5% year-on-year, to COP$3 trillion (US$920 million) while corporate debt fell 7%, “in keeping with our strategic priority of strengthening our financial position,” according to Sura.

Meanwhile, total assets dipped 2.9% year-on-year, to US$21 billion, thanks to “non-strategic divestments.” Shareholders’ equity rose by 4.4%, to US$8.57 billion, according to the company.

The Sura Asset Management division (pensions, savings and investment) saw net income jump 95% year-on-year, to (US$221 million), along with a 35% rise in operating income.

“The year 2019 was important for more than 20 million of our clients in terms of seeing their savings grow,” added Sura Asset Management CEO Ignacio Calle. “We have seen a significant recovery with the investment market that in turn is allowing us to provide much higher rates of return.”

Revenue improvements in 2019 mainly came from the “Suramericana” division including life insurance segment (up 22.2%); property and casualty (up 4%); and health care (up 24%), plus boosts from Sura Asset Management’s mandatory pensions fund (up 8.3%) and its voluntary pensions fund (up 17.7%), according to the company.

Nevertheless, the Suramericana division’s full-year 2019 net income actually declined 25.6% year-on-year, to COP$390 billion (US$111 million).

“This drop is mainly due to the results obtained by our Argentinean subsidiaries, having sustained a greater loss due to the prevailing macroeconomic conditions that in turn increased the average costs of claims and the reserves for long term coverage,” according to Sura.

“Likewise, the Chilean subsidiary presented an increase in its claims rate in the last quarter of the year due to a burst of mass social protest.

“Meanwhile, the EPS health care subsidiary in Colombia posted at year-end a higher cost of services rendered, compared to the previous year, but this was nevertheless lower than for the first half of 2019. This subsidiary also recorded a higher than expected increase in users due to the mandatory migration of users from other EPS that were being closed down, which produced a negative impact on costs due to a higher claims rate sustained on issues pending from prior failed health care providers.”

Even so, the life insurance segment showed a gain of 24.2% in net income, to COP$58.7 billion (US$16.7 million), “this mainly driven by the results obtained by our Colombian subsidiary which included a 30.1% growth in written premiums corresponding mainly to the health care, group life and workers compensation solutions,” according to Sura.

“The health care segment showed a 137.8% growth in its net income for this past quarter, this driven by lower costs for services rendered given the way the health care segment and claims rate have been handled [in Colombia] especially over the last two quarters of the year. The cost to income ratio came to 87%, compared to 88% for the same period last year,” according to the company.

While Sura’s corporate-wide, full-year 2019 profits rose, fourth-quarter (4Q) 2019 net income actually dipped 5% year-on-year, to COP$226 billion (US$64 million). Nevertheless, 4Q 2019 revenues actually rose 9% year-on-year, to COP$5.7 trillion (US$1.6 billion), according to the company.

The company mainly credited its full-year 2019 record net income to “sound levels of business performance recorded by Sura Asset Management and Suramericana” as well as its profitable holdings in Medellin-based multinational banking giant Bancolombia and Medellin-based pension-fund administrator Protección.

“This level of performance was made possible even in what was after all a demanding social and economic environment, taking into account the impact that Argentina’s complex macroeconomic reality had on our operating performance as well as the recent protests in Chile and the current situation of the Colombian health care system,” according to the company.

Consolidated operating income also rose 19.5% year-on-year, to COP$3 trillion (US$920 million) while corporate debt fell 7%, “in keeping with our strategic priority of strengthening our financial position,” according to Sura.

Meanwhile, total assets dipped 2.9% year-on-year, to US$21 billion, thanks to “non-strategic divestments,” while shareholders’ equity rose by 4.4%, to US$8.57 billion, according to the company.

The Sura Asset Management division (pensions, savings and investment) saw net income jump 95% year-on-year, to (US$221 million), along with a 35% rise in operating income.

“The year 2019 was important for more than 20 million of our clients in terms of seeing their savings grow,” added Sura Asset Management CEO Ignacio Calle. “We have seen a significant recovery with the investment market that in turn is allowing us to provide much higher rates of return.”

Written by February 22 2020 0

Medellin-based multinational banking giant Bancolombia on February 21 reported a full-year 2019 net income of COP$3.1 trillion (US$917 million), up 17% year-on-year.

However, fourth quarter (4Q) 2019 net income dropped 46% compared to third quarter (3Q) 2019, to COP$878 billion (US$260 million), according to the company.

Gross loans in 4Q 2019 grew 4.9% when compared to 4Q 2018, while Colombian peso-denominated loans grew 8.7% when compared to 4Q 2018.

Net interest income was COP$2.84 trillion (US$840 million) for 4Q 2019, up 0.8% year-on-year, according to the company.

Annualized net interest margin for 4Q 2019 was 5.6%, up 10 basis points during the quarter but down 40 basis points when compared to 4Q 2018.

“Provision charges for the [latest] quarter were COP$1.13 trillion [US$334 million] and the coverage ratio for 90-day past due loans was 194.3%,” according to Bancolombia.

“Provision charges increased by 14.4% when compared to 4Q 2018 and by 56.3% compared to 3Q 2019. New past-due loans totaled COP$730 billion [US$216 million] for the [latest] quarter,” the company added.

“Operating expenses increased by 16.2% when compared to 4Q 2018 and 10.7% when compared to 3Q 2019. The increase in operating expenses was mainly explained by the depreciation of the peso versus the dollar over the last twelve months and higher expenses related to foreclosed assets,” according to the company.

As of December 31, 2019, Bancolombia’s assets totaled COP$236 trillion (US$69.8 billion), up 7.3% compared to 4Q 2018. “The increase in total assets during the year is largely explained by the growth in the loan book and cash,” according to the company.

Meanwhile, as of December 31, 2019, Bancolombia’s liabilities totaled COP$207.3 trillion (US$61.3 billion), down 0.3% from the end of 3Q 2019 but up 7.2% compared to 4Q 2018

“During the [latest] quarter, the COP appreciated 5.8% versus the U.S. dollar and over the past 12 months, it depreciated 0.8%. The average exchange rate for 4Q 2019 was 1.3% higher than the one in 3Q 2019 and 11% higher in 2019 when compared to 2018,” according to the company

“As of December 31, 2019, the operations in Banco Agricola in El Salvador, Banistmo in Panama and BAM in Guatemala, represented 26% of total gross loans.

“Gross loans denominated in currencies other than COP, originated by the operations in Central America, the offshore operation of Bancolombia Panama, Puerto Rico and the U.S. dollar-denominated loans in Colombia accounted for 32.8% [of all loans] and decreased by 6.8% during 4Q 2019 (when expressed in COP), explained mainly by the appreciation of the COP against the U.S. dollar during the quarter.

“Total reserves (allowances in the balance sheet) for loan losses increased by 2.9% during the quarter and totaled COP$10.9 trillion [US$ billion], equivalent to 6.0% of gross loans at the end of the quarter,” the company added.

“Deposits by customers totaled COP$157 trillion [US$46 billion] or 75.8% of liabilities at the end of 4Q 2019, increasing by 4.8% when compared to 3Q 2019 and by 10.6% over the last 12 months. The net loans-to-deposits ratio was 109% at the end of 4Q 2019 -- decreasing when compared to 115.6% at the end of 3Q 2019.

“Bancolombia’s funding strategy during the last months has been to reduce the average life and cost of time deposits and promote saving and checking accounts in the consumer segment in order to keep the funding cost at a minimum. The objective is to build and maintain ample liquidity and stable margins,” the company added.

“The deterioration of the loan portfolio (new past due loans including charge-offs) was COP$730 billion [US$216 million] in 4Q 2019. Provision charges (net of recoveries) totaled COP$1.1 trillion [US$325 million] in 4Q 2019, mainly explained by some deterioration in the corporate portfolio in Central America. Also, there was an expected deterioration in the consumer portfolio in line with the growth of this segment,” according to Bancolombia.

As of December 31, 2019, Bancolombia had 31,075 employees, 16,740 banking agents, 975 branch offices and 6,169 ATMs. The company also served more than 15 million customers, according Bancolombia.

Written by February 22 2020 0

Medellin-based multinational foods manufacturer Grupo Nutresa on February 21 reported a 5.2% year-on-year net income boost for full-year 2019, to COP$513 billion (US$152 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 13.5% year-on-year, to COP$1.3 trillion (US$385 million), while sales jumped 10.5% to COP$9.9 trillion (US$2.9 billion).

For fourth-quarter (4Q) 2019, profits inched-up by 0.9% year-on-year, to COP$508 billion (US$150 million), while EBITDA rose 19.6%, to COP$1.1 trillion (US$325 million).

Full-year 2019 sales in Colombia grew 8.1% year-on-year, hitting COP$6.2 trillion (US$1.8 billion). Colombia sales were 62.3% of total global sales.

International sales increased by 14.5% in Colombian-peso terms, hitting COP$ 3.76 trillion (US$1.1 billion), or 3% higher year-on-year in U.S.-dollar terms.

“More than 80% of this [corporate-wide] growth is driven by higher volumes registered in all the business units of the group,” according to Nutresa.

“Gross profit for the period amounts to COP$4.4 trillion [US$1.3 billion], with a decrease in the gross margin of 0.8% compared to that of 2018, because of an increase in the cost of some raw materials and the [COP-to-U.S. dollar] exchange rate associated with several [operating units] during the year,” the company added.

As for non-operating revenue-and-costs impacts, Nutresa recorded a 22.2% increase in financial expenses “due to the recording of the liability obligation derived from the IFRS 16 accounting standard. The expenses corresponding to the group’s interest-on-debt decreased as a result of lower rates of financing,” the company added.

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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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