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Medellin-based electric power giant Celsia announced May 11 that its first quarter (1Q) 2021 net income rose 33% year-on-year, to COP$115.7 billion (US$31 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 1.7% year-on--year, to COP$336 billion (US$90 million), with an EBITDA margin of 34.3%.

“By regions, in the first quarter, Colombia contributed 86% of EBITDA, adding COP$289 billion [US$77 million] and Central America contributed 14%, reaching COP$47 billion [US$12.5 million],” according to Celsia.

Consolidated revenues rose 5.6% year-on-year, to COP$980 billion (US$262 million).

“The good performance of income is due to the start-up of PCH [small hydroelectric plant] San Andrés and the solar farms of El Espinal and El Carmelo, and higher income from generation and connection services,” according to the company.

“The reduction in financial expenses associated with debt management and the decrease in reference rates contributed to the consolidated net profit for the quarter,” according to Celsia. “After discounting the minority interest, the net result attributable to the owners of the parent company records a gain of COP$83.5 billion [US$22 million], an increase of 28.4%.”

Celsia closed 1Q 2021 with a consolidated debt of COP$4.2 trillion (US$1.12 billion) and a leverage ratio of 3.1 times net-debt-to-EBITDA. “Compared to 2020, the effect of the devaluation of the Colombian peso on [Celsia’s] Central America's debt was COP$86 billion [US$23 million],” according to the company.

“These first quarter results reflect the commissioning of generation and transmission assets that took several years to build,” Celsia chief exec Ricardo Sierra added.


Medellin-based multinational gold mining giant Mineros SA announced May 10 that its first quarter (1Q) 2021 net income dipped 14% year-on-year, to US$13.8 million.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 7% year-on-year, to US$45.1 million, while gross revenues rose 8%, to US$125.4 million, according to the company.

The revenue hike came from an 11% rise in average quarterly world gold prices, to US$1,707 per ounce, “partially offset by lower production,” according to Mineros.

“Total costs increased by 12%, reaching US$ 88 million, due to the increase in depreciation and amortization, a higher cost of purchases of handicraft material, the cost of material from [irregular miner] formalization contracts and the non-recurring payment of external consultancies,” according to Mineros.

“Administrative expenses had an increase of 15%, explained by the annual salary increase and external consultancy payments, partially offset by lower expenses in technology,” the company added.

Total gold production during 1Q 2021 was 65,473 ounces, of which 20,782 ounces were in Colombia (down 9%); 30,041 ounces in Nicaragua and 14,650 ounces in Argentina, according to the company.

The Colombia production dip “is explained by the sale of Operadora Minera [underground mining], since the alluvial operation showed a 10% increase in production,” according to Mineros.

All-in sustaining cost (AISC) in Colombia was US$1,108/ounce, up 26% year-on-year, “explained by the non-recurring payment of an external consultancy for US$1.5 million, due to the higher cost of the ounces generated by formalization dredges and by greater execution of investments in sustainability,” according to the company.

In the “Hemco” operation in Nicaragua, production dipped 6% “due to a lower average grade of 5%” in rock production.

“The AISC reached US$1,366/oz explained by higher cost of material from artisanal mining and higher execution of maintenance investments,” the company added.

In Argentina, 1Q 2021 production “fell by 19% compared to the first quarter of 2020, explained by the natural depletion of an open-pit mining sector,” while a “significant increase in the AISC is explained by the investments that have been made in the uncovering of a new open pit mine, in the development of the underground mine and in the expansion of the leaching piles,” according to the company.

As for the rest-of-2021 outlook, Mineros now estimates total gold production “in a range between 257,000 to 282,000 ounces,” along with continuing advances in exploration and mining life-extension projects at the Gualcamayo mine in Argentina.

In addition, Mineros will “carry out internal technical studies for Porvenir and Luna Roja (Nicaragua), DCP (Argentina) and La Pepa (Chile),” according to the company.


Medellin-based multinational cement/concrete giant Cementos Argos announced May 10 that its first quarter (1Q) 2021 net profit soared 1,227% year-on-year, to COP$55 billion (US$14.8 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) likewise rose 30% year-on-year, to COP$445 billion (US$120 million).

Gross revenues rose 6.3%, to COP$2.3 trillion (US$620 million), according to the company.

Cementos Argos is a major player in 16 Western-hemisphere countries including the U.S., Colombia and the Caribbean-Central America (CCA) region, with total annual capacity of approximately 23 million tons of cement and 16 million cubic meters of concrete.

During 1Q 2021, “consolidated cement volumes posted a year-over-year growth of 19%, reflecting a low comparison base and a solid market environment across all regions,” according to Argos.

“The macroeconomic context for the U.S. continues to be positive in relation with the construction sector, supported by the performance of the residential segment, which remains strong in terms of permits and housing starts.
“On the infrastructure side, the U.S. government recently announced a proposal named ‘American Jobs Plan,’ which indicates a US$2 trillion investment over the next eight years. Once approved, this plan is expected to increase cement demand in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Colombia Results

During 1Q 2021, “the cement industry in Colombia continued showing signs of full recovery. As a result, our cement volumes grew 19.4% versus the same period of 2020, benefited by a weak comparison base. Compared to the first quarter of 2019, dispatches were 2.8% higher.

“In the ready-mix concrete business, volumes grew 3.3% during the quarter, but are still below 2019 levels, reflecting a slower pace of recovery in formal construction.

“Regarding market environment, in the first three months of 2021 the Colombian industry continued the positive dynamic evidenced since September 2020 in terms of volume, as the retail segment continued leading the recovery on demand. Meanwhile, formal construction continued its recovery path as a result of an increase in housing starts and stability on the execution of infrastructure projects.”

Colombia revenues rose 15.3% year-on-year, to COP$603 billion (US$163 million), while EBITDA rose 18.9%, to COP$145 billion (US$39 million), according to the company.

CCA Results

“Cement volumes improved during the quarter on a yearly basis as Panama showed signs of recovery and the rest of the [Central American] countries experienced strong demand conditions associated with the strong self-construction trend that continued as remittances remained at high level during the first three months of 2021,” according to Argos.

“During the quarter ready-mix volumes decreased 13.7% compared to the same period of last year as a result of a slower pace of recovery of the industrial segment, especially in Panama.

“Weighted average cement prices decreased 1.3% on a yearly basis. Our performance in terms of volume led to a revenue growth. Nevertheless, despite lower prices during the quarter and the revaluation of the currency in Haiti, EBITDA increased year over year reaching US$41 million,” the company added.


Medellin-based multinational electric power transmission giant ISA on May 6 announced a 32.4% year-on-year jump in first quarter (1Q) 2021 net income, to COP$508 billion (US$135 million).

Operating revenues also rose 14% year-on-year, to COP$2.4 trillion (US$638 million), while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 14.3%, to COP$1.5 trillion (US$399 million). EBITDA margin came-in at 63.8%, or 75% if excluding construction-cost factors.

Net margin closed at 21.5% and return on equity hit 17.1% for the latest quarter. Assets rose 6.7%, to COP$57.6 trillion (US$15.3 billion), while new investments totaled COP$1.9 trillion (US$505 million).

Consolidated financial debt rose 6.4%, to COP$24.2 trillion (US$6.4 billion), while the net debt/EBITDA ratio closed at 3.2-times, “complying with the required levels to maintain the current credit rating,” according to ISA.

The jump in operating revenues “was mainly due to the entry into operation of electrical power transmission projects, the consolidation of Orazul Energy Group as of the third quarter of 2020, Ruta Costera as of the fourth quarter of 2020, and Piratininga-Bandeirantes Transmissora de Energia (PBTE) as of March 2021; as well as the increase in the construction activity of concessions in Peru and Brazil,” according to the company.

Construction revenues jumped 39% year-on-year, to COP$428 billion (US$114 million), because of power-transmission construction-cost-adjustments in Brazil, increased construction activity in Peru and Brazil and construction of the Ruta Costera highway project, according to the company.

According to ISA, two acquisitions during 1Q 2021 brighten prospects for even more gains in future revenues and profits:

1. The Aguapeí Electrical Interconnection in Brazil and the project for the connection with the Quellaveco mine in Peru “will contribute annual revenues of close to COP$70 billion [US$18.6 million].”

2. The acquisition of 100% of the shares of Piratininga-Bandeirantes Transmissora de Energia (PBTE) in Brazil for COP$1 trillion (US$266 million), “which implied an asset increase of COP$1.4 trillion [US$372 million] and debt of COP$240 billion [US$64 million], will represent annual revenues of approximately COP$128 billion [US$34 million] for ISA.”


Medellin-based textile giant Fabricato revealed May 5 in a filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera oversight agency that it posted a COP$2.27 billion (US$598,000) net loss for first quarter (1Q) 2021, an improvement over the COP$9 billion (US$2.37 million) net loss in 1Q 2020.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in its main textile business improved to COP$7.8 billion (US$2.05), up 640% year-on-year.

Fabricato credited the 1Q 2021 EBITDA improvement partly to a 12% rise in raw fabric sales, a 28% jump in sales of denim, poplin and drills, and a 95% jump in its fashion-segment sales. Sales of fabrics with recovered yarns rose 17% versus 2020 and 7% versus 2019.

As for its electronic-commerce sales, “sales of ‘Work Wear’ garments [as measured in pesos] grew by 12,259% versus 2020 and by 143% versus 2019,” according to Fabricato.

As for Fabricato’s. real-estate development division, “The Plaza Fabricato shopping center [in Bello, Antioquia] presents 84% progress, in-line with the promoters' schedules,” according to the company.

Meanwhile, its “VIP” housing project in Ibagué “is 98% sold, with only four apartments left to be sold,” according to the company.

“Stage 1 of the Tope VIS project is being commercialized, consisting of four towers with a total of 264 real-estate units. At the end of March there are seven apartments optioned and 139 separated [for future purchase]. This shows a positive trend in the city's real estate market.”

As for the Fabricato Industrial Park (Riotex) in Rionegro, Antioquia, “we ended March with 75% of the available area leased. The expected annual income from leases and services is COP$9.7 billion [US$2.55 million] with an occupied area of 85%,” 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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