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Celsia 2018 results February 2019

Thursday, 11 July 2019 16:51 Written by

Celsia Photovoltaic Solar Power Array/ Source: Celsia

Celsia Full-Year 2018 Profits Jump 39% Year-on-Year

Medellin-based electric power producer Celsia announced February 19, 2019 that its full-year 2018 net income rose 39.7% year-on-year, to COP$350.7 billion (US$112.6 million), from COP$251 billion (US$80 million) in 2017.

Fourth-quarter (4Q) 2018 net income also rose year-on-year, hitting COP$108 billion (US$34.7 million), up from COP$71 billion (US$22.8 million) in 4Q 2017.

Gross revenues likewise rose 10.7% year-on-year, hitting COP$3.4 trillion (US$1.1 billion) for 2018, versus COP$3.1 trillion (US$995 million) in 2017. Colombia accounted for 81% of revenues, while its Central America power sales accounted for the remaining 19%.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 1% year-on-year, according to Celsia, a subsidiary of Medellin-based Grupo Argos.

Celsia mainly credited income growth to consolidation of its EPSA (Empresa de Energia del Pacifico S.A.) power subsidiary; start-up of the Celsia Solar Bolívar photovoltaic plant; and the completion of its “Plan5Caribe” power projects in Cartagena and Valledupar.

“The strategy of optimizing our capital structure decreased interest rates, which allowed for a reduction in financial expense,” according to Celsia.

“Net debt at the end of the year amounted to COP$3.06 trillion [US$982 million] with a net-debt-to-EBITDA indicator of 2.7 times, below the 3.2 times [ratio] registered in 2017,” according to the company.

Income tax also fell 22.5% year-on-year thanks to favorable tax-law credits and deductions, the company added.

Consolidated investments rose 20% year-on-year, hitting COP$618 billion (US$198 million), COP$592 billion of which was in Colombia.

“Through EPSA, Celsia structured an issuance of ‘green bonds’ worth COP$420 billion [US$135 million] for the development of unconventional renewable energy projects,” with COP$140 billion [US$45 million] bonds already having been sold.


Bogota-based cement/concrete manufacturing giant Cemex LatAm Holdings announced February 7 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 [in those sectors] 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 in Colombia continue to face challenges as new-starts and housing-permit applications had fallen 18% through September 2018, while inventories in these sectors remain 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 the “Autopista al Rio Magdalena 2;” “Bucaramanga-Barranca-Yondó;” “Bucaramanga-Pamplona;” and “Pasto-Rumichaca” projects. Cemex boasts that it 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.


Colombia Minister of Agriculture Andres Valencia on January 18 hailed the start-up of the nation’s biggest Hass avocado export plant at Sonson, Antioquia, targeting the European and Saudi Arabian markets.

The new plant, a joint venture between South Africa-based Westfalia Group and Chile-based Agricom, aims to help Colombia meet a goal over the next two years to export at least US$100 million worth of Hass avocados annually, according to the Minister.

The new plant will buy avocados mainly from smaller local producers, aiming to help them find attractive, stable export markets, as well as boosting their access to financial credits, according to the Minister.

Colombia currently produces more than 400,000 tons/year of various types of avocados, ranking fifth globally.

Between 2015 and 2017, Colombia’s Hass avocado exports skyrocketed by 413%, and then rose another 38% last year, hitting US$73 million in export value, Valencia said, citing local Corpohass trade-association statistics.

That association reported 15,530 hectares dedicated to Hass avocado production in Colombia, with full-year 2018 output estimated at 95,250 tons, he added.

The latest plant expansion in Sonson “reflects rising investor confidence in Colombia,” added Westfalia Fruit Colombia general manager Pedro Aguilar-Niño.

Machinery for the new plant came from New Zealand-based Compac, a división of Tomra Food. The new plant can process more tan 20 tons per hour, and during 2019 it would handle up-to-4-million kilos per year, according to the company.

Together with Westfalia’s sister processing plant in nearby Guarne, Antioquia, Westfalia estimates that it will be able to export some 9 million kilos of Hass avocados from Colombia this year.


Colombia’s Transport Ministry and its Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) infrastructure agency announced December 20 that they've granted a conditional 30-year concession license to the developers of the proposed “Puerto Pisisi” Atlantic freight port at Turbo, Antioquia.

According to ANI, the initial investment would total US$133 million, and when completed the port eventually would handle 1.7 million tons/year of general cargo, containers, solid and liquid bulk materials, vehicles and hydrocarbons.

“Puerto Pisisí is expected to become one of the most representative ports in the Gulf of Urabá, as it is a maritime zone that offers geostrategic conditions for the movement of cargo towards the center of the country,” according to ANI.

“This port is part of the strategy of connecting the country with the world and is complemented by the program of projects of the 4G [fourth-generation] highways that are being executed in Antioquia,” added ANI president Louis Kleyn.

The conditional license requires the Pisisi port developers to sign a construction contract within one year, upon which it could start finalizing its investment plan.

“This terminal expects to mobilize more than 300,000 tons for the first year of operation, until reaching about 1.7 million tons by year 30,” according to ANI.


Medellin-based international electric-power transmission and highway concessions giant ISA announced December 19 an “alliance” deal with Medellin-based construction giant Construcciones El Condor for highway deals in Colombia and Peru.

According to the new partners, ISA will have a controlling 51% stake in the alliance.

“ISA is taking quick steps to materialize the ‘ISA 2030 strategy’ that was recently made public, in which emphasis on the road business is focused on consolidating its business in Chile, where it is currently a leading player, and on exploration of new markets in Colombia and Peru,” according to the company.

“ISA brings its extensive experience as an operator in Chile, where it currently leads the segment of interurban highways, its financial muscle and its leadership as a ‘multilatina’ [company]; while Construcciones El Cóndor S.A, brings its recognized experience in construction, concession management and road infrastructure projects.”

Besides opening doors to public tenders for road concessions in Colombia and Peru, the alliance also “opens the possibility of executing a joint strategy of evaluation, participation and acquisition of concessions,” according to ISA.

In Colombia, several “fourth generation” (4G) highways are nearing completion, so new contracts to maintain and operate these highways are soon to be put up for bid, the company noted.

Luz María Correa Vargas, president of Construcciones El Cóndor, added that “we are a relevant player in Colombia with nearly 40 years in the market. We have great strengths in the management of concession contracts, especially in the structuring of offers, and in the design, construction and engineering of road concessions.

“Our goal is to continue growing and for this, the support of a solid and recognized company like ISA is key. We find that we have an affinity of interests and that we complement each other to be leaders,” she said.

Constructora Conconcreto Loan Syndication

On a related front, Medellin-based Constructora Conconcreto announced December 19 that it just won a syndicated loan agreement with Colombia banking giants Bancolombia, Banco Davivienda, Banco de Bogota, Itaú Corpbanca Colombia, Banco Popular, Banco de Occidente, Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia, BBVA Colombia and Commercial Bank AV Villas.

“The support and vote of confidence of all the banks that participated in this process for Constructora Conconcreto S.A. is undoubtedly a favorable symptom for the construction sector in our country,” according to Conconcreto.

“This contract allows the company to re-profile its financial debt at a value of COP$639.8 billion [US$198 million], a loan whose maturity date will be December 31, 2023.

“Thanks to these new conditions, Constructora Conconcreto S.A. it is able to continue with the fulfillment of the investment plan required in strategic projects, which reaffirm the sustainability of the company in the long term and contribute to the national infrastructure, such as:

“• Via 40 Express, one of the most important concessions in the country, since it is the most important commercial artery in Colombia, connecting the Sabana de Bogotá with the Port of Buenaventura.
“• Consortium Vial Helios, which will complete the execution of Section 1 of Ruta del Sol, corresponding to the sector between Villeta and Puerto Salgar.
“• The continuation of 21 housing projects, which represent more than COP$760 billion [US235 million] in revenues for the company, which are located in the main cities of the country.”

The new credit agreement is backed by Conconcreto’s COP$540 billion (US$167 million) equity in the “Pactia” real-estate private equity fund; other real estate valued at COP$58.3 billion (U$$18 million); and a fiduciary-rights security interest agreement in the Malachí Trust, whose underlying asset is a property worth COP$80 billion (US$24.7 million), according to the company.


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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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