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Medellin-based historical textile giant Coltejer revealed in a March 8 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera financial oversight agency that its full-year 2021 net loss grew to a negative COP$121 billion (US$32 million), compared to a net loss of COP$94 billion (US$25 million) in 2020.

Sales plummeted to COP$16.9 billion (US$4.5 million) in 2021, versus COP$74.8 billion (US$20 million) in 2020, according to the company.

Gross corporate-wide revenues also fell by nearly half, to COP$55 billion (US$14.7 million) versus COP$104 billion (US$28 million) in 2020.

The company shuttered all textile production last September (see Medellin Herald 09/10/2021) as it had been unable to overcome the combined impacts of the prior Covid-19 global crisis along with textile imports contraband, including below-cost competition from China.

Earlier last year, Coltejer reported net losses in second-quarter 2021 (see Medellin Herald 08/18/2021); shuttered its non-woven fibers production in July (see Medellin Herald 07/16/2021); and had announced closure of its historic, foundational factory in the Medellin suburb of Itagüí at the end of 2020 (see Medellin Herald 12/18/2020).

Medellin-based textiles and plastics recycling giant Enka de Colombia announced March 4 that its full-year-2021 net income jumped 3.8-times over 2020, hitting COP$57.4 billion (US$15 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) doubled, to COP$76.4 billion (US$19.9 million), even though gross revenues were almost flat year-on-year, at COP$536 billion (US$140 million).

The profits boost came “mainly due to the recovery of the affected markets by Covid-19, increase in the TRM [dollar-to-peso exchange rate, favoring exports] and proper management of the situation,” according to Enka.

“Our solid financial situation reflected a low level of net indebtedness, at 0.15-times EBITDA, after making capital investments of more than COP$38 billion [US$9.9 million] in the new ‘EKO-PET’ plant and guaranteeing working capital as resulting from the recovery of sales and increase in international sales prices,” the company added.

Construction of the new EKO-PET plant “progresses according to schedule and budget. In the coming months, assembly of equipment will begin, to start operations at the end of 2022,” according to the company.

While global supply chains have been snagged as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, “the supply diversification strategy implemented by the company in recent years has made it possible to manage this situation, fulfilling commitments to clients without affecting business continuity,” the company added.

Sales in the local Colombian market increased by 57%, to COP$319 billion (US$83 million), while exports increased by 40%, to COP$216 billion (US$56.4 million), representing 40% of total sales, according to the company. North America accounted for 19% of sales while Brazil took another 16%.

In Enka’s plastics-recycling “green business” lines, “cumulative sales at the end of the year amounted to COP$152.6 billion [US$39.9 million], or 28% of total revenue. The growth is 25% year-on-year, mainly due to higher international prices and the recovery of sales of ‘EKO-Fibras,’” according to Enka.

As for the “EKO-PET” line (17,280 tons), “high demand worldwide was driven by advances in environmental and sustainability regulations,” according to Enka.

As for the ‘EKO-Polyolefins’ line (1,744 tons), “we continue with the strategy of developing high-quality products, awaiting the results of the homologations in large brands of products made from the ‘Revoloop’ resin developed with Dow,” according to Enka.

As for its plastic bottle recycling in Colombia, “bottle collection grew by 24% in 2021, supplying 100% of current needs and preparing for the entry into operation of the new B2B plant,” according to Enka.

As for its textile and industrial business lines, “excluding non-recurring sales of virgin PET (COP$36.7 billion/US$9.6 million), revenue from the textile and industrial businesses amounted to COP$345.8 billion [US$90 million], an increase of 49% compared to the previous year, due to the recovery in demand after the strong restrictions generated by the pandemic and by the increase in international prices in the petrochemical chain,” according to Enka.

Industrial yarns (12,542 tons) volume increased 9% year-on-year, “mainly in canvas for the Mexican market. Technical yarn sales remain stable, with increasing sales to the United States and Colombia,” the company added.

Textile filaments (9,100 tons) grew 26% year-on-year, “due to recovery in demand affected by Covid-19 and lower supply of Asian products. Sales of nylon filaments in 2021, one of the development focuses of recent years, exceeded those of polyester for the first time,” according to Enka.

Resins (11,883 tons) sales of nylon likewise grew “driven by the recovery in demand and by new developments for sausage-coating applications,” while virgin PET sales also grew to 7,566 tons, “supporting the reactivation of the industry,” according to Enka.

Medellin-based construction giant Conconcreto announced this morning (March 1) that its full-year 2021 net income rose 108.8% year-on-year, to COP$48 billion (US$12 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also rose 35.6% year-on-year, to COP$139 billion (US$35.4 million), according to the company.

Revenues also rose 31% year-on-year, to COP$754 billion (US$192 million), the company added.

“Higher revenues came as a result of the start of construction of our main backlog contracts, as well as a greater contribution from investments, especially [real-estate venture] Pactia Industrial Conconcreto,” according to the company.

On other positive fronts, Conconcreto once again confirmed that it is moving to terminate an earlier-announced bankruptcy move triggered by a since-cancelled Controller-General finding that otherwise could have imposed hundreds of millions of dollars in fines on several companies (including Conconcreto) for the 2018 collapse of a diversion tunnel at the Hidroituango hydroelectric project.

Meanwhile, Conconcreto cited another positive developments as its construction-contract backlog in the U.S. stood at a healthy US$203 million at year-end 2021, while projects currently in execution there totaled US$290 million.

In Colombia, the company’s end-2021 backlog closed at COP$3.1 trillion (US$790 million), with COP$1.9 trillion (US$484 million) “concentrated mainly in the ‘Doble Calzada Oriente’ [east-of-Medellin highway project] and Hidroituango projects,” according to the company.

Construcciones El Condor Results

Meanwhile, Medellin-based highway construction giant Construcciones El Condor announced February 28 that its full-year 2021 net income fell 72% year-on-year, to COP$8.8 billion (US$2.2 million).

Revenues also fell 32% year-on-year, to COP $566 billion (US$144 million).

The drop in profits and revenues were the result of “completion of projects that were executed during previous years with important billings; with the suspension of some projects that were awaiting environmental and property decisions (Ruta al Mar and Pacífico 3); and the postponement of Invias public-works contracts until the beginning of 2022, including the Toyo tunnel and Putumayo highway,” according to El Condor.

“Additionally, the effects of the La Niña [exceptional rainy weather] phenomenon and the National Strike that began at the end of April also affected the pace of the works,” according to the company.

For full year 2021, EBITDA margin dipped to 12.5%, from 16.6% in 2020.

Meanwhile, El Condor’s year-end 2021 total assets came-in at COP$2.34 trillion (US$596 million), “of which our investment portfolio at book value is COP$1.05 trillion [US$267 million],” according to the company.

“Liabilities closed at COP$1.28 trillion [US$326 million], with 55% of liabilities current and 45% non-current. With the structured loan granted by Bancolombia and Davivienda with a 24-month term, the structure of current liabilities is maintained at levels close to 50%.

“The company’s indebtedness increased by 11% compared to the end of December 2020, due to the working capital needs of the new projects,” El Condor added.

As of December 2021, El Condor’s construction backlog -- the balance of works contracted and still to be executed -- stood at COP$2.67 trillion (US$681 million), the company added.

Medellin-based multinational gold mining giant Mineros SA announced February 28 that its full-year 2021 net income dropped 31% year-on-year, to COP$162 billion (US$41.3 million).

However, revenues increased 4% year-on-year, to COP$1.8 trillion (US$459.6 million), versus COP$1.79 trillion (US$457 million) in 2020.

The revenue boost came from a “slight increase in gold prices and higher revenues from energy sales and hedges, which managed to offset lower gold production, given the delay of some environmental permits in Colombia and the natural depletion of the mine in Argentina,” according to Mineros.

On the other hand, gross profit fell 25% year-on-year, to COP$464 billion (US$118 million), “mainly due to higher purchase costs of artisanal [gold mining] mineral, which translates into higher production. The decline was also due to the increase in depreciation and amortization, an increase in payroll costs, higher maintenance costs and higher inventory consumption, along with an increase in administration expenses and by the increase in exploration expenses,” according to Mineros.

On the upside, Mineros President Andrés Restrepo commented that “2021 was a historic year for Mineros, as we became the first Colombia-based company to be listed on both the TSX [Toronto exchange] and the Colombian Stock Exchange.

“We continue to pay dividends consistently, with COP$66 billion [US$16.8 million) in total dividends paid in 2021.

“Our production was above 260,000 ounces of gold, according to our estimates, allowing us to continue to strengthen our overall capital position. Cash costs per ounce of gold sold were also within the expected range, while the AISC [all-in sustaining cost] was slightly higher than expected.

“We entered 2022 with a focus on maintaining strong production levels at our current operations and pursuing annual production growth through a combination of brownfield exploration at current operations, greenfield exploration (exploration in areas that are not in operation) and evaluating possible acquisitions,” Restrepo added.

In Colombia, alluvial gold production rose 5% year-on-year, to 73,129 ounces, “thanks to the nearly 10,000 ounces produced under the formalization program” of formerly irregular artisanal miners, the company noted.

“The formalization is a collaborative work scheme, through contracts with third parties, in which previously informal miners are working on the company’s mining titles, with emphasis on the reprocessing of tailings from massive extraction. Currently, the formalization process includes nine operating units and generates nearly 200 direct jobs,” the company added..

In Nicaragua, the Hemco mining operation produced 127,151 ounces of gold, up 4% year-on-year, “largely explained by higher purchases of artisanal material, an increase in milled tons and a higher grade” of mined rock, according to the company.

In Argentina, mining operations dipped 14% year-on-year, to 61,487 ounces of gold, “explained by the natural depletion of the open-pit deposit and the slow recovery process in the leach pads,” according to Mineros.

Colombian Output Seen Rising in 2022

As for its year-2022 projections, Mineros foresees consolidated production in the range of 262,000 to 285,000 ounces.

“This projection foresees an increase in production in Colombia, including the new ounces from the formalization program, the maintenance of production levels in Nicaragua and a slight decrease in production in Argentina in accordance with the depletion of the mine, while new fronts are being explored.

“For 2022, cash cost is estimated in a range between US$1,090 and US$1,180 per ounce and AISC between US$1,350 and US$1,450 per ounce,” the company added.

Medellin-based multinational insurance, pensions, health care and financial services giant Grupo Sura announced February 25 that its full-year 2021 net income jumped 353% year-on-year, to COP$1.5 trillion (US$282 million).

Operating earnings rose 16.5% year-on-year, to COP$24.8 trillion (US$6.64 billion) -- COP$4 trillion (US$1.02 billion) more than in 2020 -- “due to the performance dynamics of its subsidiaries and a record high in revenues obtained via the equity method," including its major shareholdings in Medellin-based financial/industrial giants Grupo Nutresa, Grupo Argos and Bancolombia.

Fourth-quarter (4Q) 2021 net income came-in at COP$406.7 billion (US$103 million), a reversal from the COP$61 billion (US$15.5 million) net loss in 4Q 2020.

Beyond the encouraging results in 2021, “Grupo Sura expects its full-year 2022 net income to increase between 10% and 15%” over 2021, according to the company.

Sura credited the rise in 2021 income to increases in written premiums by its Suramericana insurance division; fee and commission income obtained by pensions/financial services division Sura Asset Management, as well as “good performance of the equity method in associated companies, which had record results, freeing-up of provisions with Bancolombia due to a lower risk exposure in its loan portfolio,” according to Sura.

“The results obtained at year-end 2021 exceeded our growth expectations for all of the Sura lines of business, thereby bringing us closer to our pre-pandemic figures,” added Sura CEO Gonzalo Pérez.

Operating expense also rose 15.7% year-on-year, “mainly due to a higher claims rate at Suramericana as a result of the pandemic, which was partially mitigated by a greater control over administrative expense as well as greater efficiencies obtained by the different companies,” according to the company.

“Consequently, consolidated operating earnings rose by 59.2% to COP$2.6 trillion (US$685 million) and consolidated net income came to COP$1.5 trillion (US$407 million), 4.5-times higher than for 2020 and corresponding to 89% of that obtained in 2019,” the company added.

Consolidated shareholders' equity likewise rose by 9.5% year-on-year, to COP$31.3 trillion (US$7.85 billion), according to the company.

During 2021, the Sura Asset Management division (retirement savings, investments and asset management) grew to 21.6 million clients in six countries in Latin America, and its assets-under-management increased by 7.4%, to COP$566 trillion (US$142 billion), generating COP$3 trillion (US$810 million) in operating income, up 10.6% year-on-year, according to the company.

“This was mainly driven by its fee and commission income, which increased by 11.8% in the retirement savings business and 25.4% in the ‘voluntary savings’ segment, through Inversiones Sura (voluntary savings for private individuals) and Sura Investment Management (the regional platform for the institutional segment),” according to the company.

As a result, Sura Asset Management’s 2021 consolidated net income rose 45.3% year-on-year, to COP$ 627 billion (US$167 million), while its net debt level fell by COP$668 billion (US$155.9 million), according to the company.

As for the Suramericana insurance and risk-management division, this group posted a 16.5% hike in written premiums at year-end 2021, reaching COP$21.8 trillion (US$5.8 billion), “driven by the good levels of performance for all three of its insurance segments, namely Life (13.2%), Health Care (30.7%) and Property and Casualty (10.9%). This, together with a rigorous control over administrative expenses, partially mitigated the increase in claims due to the reopening of the economies and the pandemic,” according to the company.

In 2021, Suramericana allocated COP$1.6 trillion (US$408 million) to Covid-related claims, but “thanks to the progress made with mass vaccination programs, the claims rate has so far shown an improvement in the Life and Health Care segments,” according to the company.

Because of the heavy costs of Covid-19 claims last year, Suramericana net income fell to COP$66.35 billion (US$18 million), or 68.6% lower than for 2020.

“Finally, Suramericana ended the year with technical reserves worth COP$23.3 trillion (US$5.8 billion), having increased by 10.6%,” according to the company.

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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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