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Medellin-based multinational electric power transmission, telecom and highways-concessionaire giant ISA announced February 23 that its full-year 2022 net income rose 32% year-on-year, to COP$2.2 trillion (US$453 million), from COP$1.66 trillion (US$342 million) in 2021.

Gross income rose 14.4%, to COP$10.3 trillion (US$2.1 billion), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 11.3%, to COP$8.56 trillion (US$1.7 billion), according to the company.

During 2022, ISA built seven new power-transmission projects as well as a large-scale battery-storage project in Brazil. “These projects generate a total annual remuneration of approximately US$167 million, and add more than 2,200 kilometers of circuit to the transmission network,” according to ISA.

On the other hand, power-tariff reductions mandated by the Colombian government cut operating income by approximately COP$60 billion (US$12.3 million), the company added.

As for Panama future operations, “ISA made a capital contribution to ICP Panama totaling COP$15 billion (US$3.1 million), which will be used to finance the expenses related to feasibility studies of the electrical interconnection” between Colombia and Panama.

As for fourth quarter (4Q) 2022 results, net income dipped 4% year-on-year, to COP $433 billion (US$89 million), but EBITDA rose 5%, to COP$2.1 trillion (US$432 million), according to the company.

“Excluding 2022 non-recurring expenses [including asset impairments hitting the Internexa interconnections between Brazil and Argentina] and 2021 re-profiling of Interchile's debt and the change in the income tax rate in Colombia, the profit for fourth quarter grew 15%,” the company added.

“This increase is mainly from boosts in contractual income from the operations in Colombia and Chile and the entry of new projects, which made it possible to mitigate the lower revenues in Brazil due to the behavior of the IPCA [inflation index], non-recurring income from the recognition of the cost of capital not received this year but recorded in 2Q 2021, and the higher expenses due to the effect of higher inflation rates, mainly in Chile,” according to ISA.

Net assets rose 28% year-on-year, to COP$78.7 trillion (US$16 billion), while consolidated financial debt rose 21%, to COP$34.1 trillion (US$7 billion), the company added.

In ISA’s highways-concessions businesses, the company expanded operations at the “Troncal Quinta” toll on Chile’s principal “Route 5,” while in Colombia, ISA marked a  first full year of revenue-generating operations of the “Ruta Costera” toll road.

In its telecommunications division, “in a year of great challenges in business and markets, the company achieved a customer satisfaction level of 8.41, improving two points compared to the previous year,” ISA added.


Medellin-based multinational foods giant Grupo Nutresa announced February 23 that its full-year 2022 net profit rose 30.4% year-on-year, to COP$883 billion (US$182 million).

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 28.6%, to COP$1.97 trillion (US$405 million), while EBITDA margin came-in at 11.6% of sales.

Net post-operative expenses, at COP$245 billion (US$50 million) “reflected the increasing cost of debt due to higher financing rates,” according to Nutresa.

Consolidated revenues rose 33.8%, to COP$17 trillion (US$3.5 billion), the company added.

In Colombia, revenues rose 29.9%, to COP$10.1 trillion (US$2.08 billion), “based on positive dynamics across all channels and in the main categories where the company participates,” with Colombia representing 59.3% of total corporate revenues.

International sales as measured in Colombian pesos rose 39.7% year-on-year, totaling COP$6.9 trillion (US$1.4 billion), whereas sales measured in U.S. dollars rose 22.5% year-on-year, to US$1.6 billion, according to Nutresa.

“Exports from Colombia totaled US$445 million, which represented a growth rate of 33.9%,” according to the company.

While costs rose because of “global logistics disruptions and the increase in commodities costs,|” the company employed effective offsets with ”strategic hedging and timely and efficient sourcing strategies,” according to Nutresa.

“These actions resulted in a 21.7% growth rate in terms of gross profit, for a total of COP$6.2 trillion [US$1.27 billion],” the company added.

“All the expense categories grew at a lower rate than the revenues, which as a result resulted in an operating profit of COP$1.5 trillion [US$208 million], a 36.3% growth compared to the previous year,” according to Nutresa.

Medellin-based electric power giant Celsia – a division of Grupo Argos – on February 21 announced an 18.7% year-on-year decline in 2022 net income --at COP$442.8 billion (US$89.6 million), versus COP$544 billion (US$110 million) in 2021.

Gross revenues rose 36% year-on-year, to COP$5.58 trillion (US$1.13 billion) in 2022, versus COP$4.1 trillion (US$830 million) in 2021.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also rose 30% year-on-year, to COP$1.7 trillion (US$344 million), versus COP$1.28 trillion (US$259 million) in 2021.

The decline in net income came from “higher financial costs and a higher level of taxation,” according to Celsia.

The boost in revenues came from “a greater amount of energy sold” in Colombia, although Panama sales suffered from a decline in hydropower at its Celsia Dos Mares complex.

During fourth quarter (4Q) 2022, revenues rose 46% year-on-year, with Colombia representing 92% of the total, according to Celsia.

“The fourth quarter was framed by short-term events in the sector, especially the related to the reduction of electricity tariffs promoted by the Colombian national government,” according to Celsia.

“Celsia’s energy customers in Valle del Cauca and Tolima received a reduction in electricity rates on the bill they received from the months of November and December 2022.

“With the accumulated reduction of both months, the rate in these regions decreased between 2.5% and 8%, depending on the particular conditions of each market.

“As a generator, Celsia made an average decrease in the price of close to 9% to the marketers with whom it has contracts for the sale of energy,” the company added.

Medellin-based multinational gold miner Mineros SA announced February 20 that its full-year 2022 net income fell 88% year-on-year, to COP$19 billion (US$3.8 million), from COP$$162 billion (US$32.6 million) in 2021.

“The net result was significantly impacted by COP$196 billion [US$39.5 million] of asset impairment expenses, mainly on the Gualcamayo mine property in Argentina due to higher exploration expenses and an increase in current and deferred taxes,” according to Mineros.

Corporate-wide revenues rose 21% year-on-year, to COP$39 billion (US$7.8 million), boosted by an increase in gold production along with a 7% devaluation of the Colombian peso versus the U.S. dollar, “partially offset due to lower coverage income,” the company added

Cash cost per ounce of gold sold dipped 5%, while all-in-sustaining-costs (AISC) per ounce of gold sold likewise declined 9% year-on year, according to the company.

Those declines are “explained by the greater number of ounces of gold sold, thanks to operating efficiencies at the Nechí [Antioquia] alluvial property in Colombia. and the Hemco property in Nicaragua and the reduction in sustaining capital expenditures, which were partially offset by the increase in cost of sales excluding depreciation and amortization,” according to the company.

For full-year 2022, Mineros boosted gold production 10% year-on-year, to 287,152 ounces. The Nechi alluvial operation by itself saw gold recoveries rise 26% year-on-year.

“The increase in production in 2022 over the prior year is a result of increased operating efficiencies, the approval of environmental permits that were delayed in 2021, and additional gold production from our artisanal mining formalization program,” according to Mineros.

In Nicaragua, total 2022 production rose 4%, to 132,520 ounces, while in Argentina, gold production at the Gualcamayo mine rose 1% year-on-year, to 62,247 ounces, according to the company.

Medellin-based multinational cement/concrete giant Cementos Argos – a division of Grupo Argos – announced February 21 that its full-year 2022 profits fell 59% year-on-year, to COP$215 billion (US$33 million), from COP$524 billion (US$115 million) in 2021.

Gross revenues rose 19%, to COP$11.7 trillion (US$2.37 billion), up 23% year-on-year, compared to COP$9.8 trillion (US$1.98 billion) in 2021.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 6.6% year-on-year, to COP$2.08 trillion (US$421 million), but adjusted EBITDA  in U.S. dollars fell 6.2% year-on-year, to US$520 million in 2021.

Net profit from continuing operations dipped 14.4% year-on-year, to COP$403 billion (US$81.6 million), “mainly affected by the notable increase in financial expenses due to the increase in Interest rates,” according to Cementos Argos.

“On a consolidated basis, Argos shipped 16.2 million tons of cement, a slight decrease of 3.7% compared to 2021, mainly caused by effects on the industrial business in Central America and the Caribbean,” according to the company. On the other hand, concrete volumes rose 6.3%, to 7.5 million cubic meters, “highly leveraged by the good performance of the market in Colombia,” according to the company.

U.S. Operating Highlights

During 2022, U.S. cement shipments rose 4.4% year-on-year, to 6.1 million tons, while concrete shipments grew 1%, to 4.5 million cubic meters. Prices increased 16% in cement and 18% in concrete.

U.S. revenues rose 16.4%, to US$1.5 billion, but EBITDA dipped 4%, to US$256 million, “mainly due to significant increases in the variable costs of the operation as a result of the high inflation in energy prices,” according to Argos.

Colombia Highlights

In Colombia, cement volumes dipped 0.8% year-on-year, to 6 million tons, “as a result of the price recovery strategy in a context in which cement prices in Colombia continue significantly below the parity prices of imports,” according to Argos.

“Export volumes set a record at 1.2 million tons, with growth of 28.2%. Concrete volumes reached 2.7 million cubic meters, presenting a growth of 13.6%, driven by the construction of formal housing and the good dynamics of infrastructure projects. Local cement prices grew 19% and concrete prices increased 13%.”

As a result, Colombia operating income rose 11.8% year-on-year, to COP$2.7 trillion (US$546 million), while EBITDA rose 5.7%, to COP$605 billion (US$122 million), according to the company.

Central America, Caribbean and Trading

In Central America and Caribbean operations, cement shipments fell 18% year-on-year, to 4 million tons, but concrete shipments rose 42.5%, to 273,000 cubic meters.

“Prices increased an average of 14% in concrete and 29% in cement, due to the global dynamics of trade that led to the highest values of import parity in markets with high exposure to international supply,” according to Argos.

Central America and Caribbean region revenues rose 3.1% year-on-year, to US$541 million, while EBITDA dipped 8.1% year-on-year, to US$123 million.

“With higher price levels and more stable inflation, Cementos Argos expects to be able to capture the opportunities that arise in the Central America, Caribbean and trading regions in 2023,” the company added.

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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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