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Medellin-based highway construction giant Construcciones El Condor on November 12 reported a 415% year-on-year plunge in third quarter (3Q) 2020 net income, to COP$16 billion (US$4.4 million).

Gross income for 3Q 2020 was down 11%, to COP$565 billion (US$155 million), “explained by the paralysis in the execution of the works on the occasion of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to the company.

The crisis “implied the non-invoicing during this time and the decrease in the invoicing in the months of May, June and July,” but “as of July [we] had high levels of execution in projects,” according to the company.

Operating costs for the latest quarter hit COP$517 billion (US142$ million), “representing 91.55% of income from ordinary activities, while administrative expenses reached 3.2% of said income,” according to the company.

“Operating costs include idle costs, machinery and equipment stand-by costs and personnel costs assumed by the company 100% during the suspension . . . Once these costs have been recognized in the contractual agreements, the respective recognitions will be made to the executors to bill them for each concession,” the company added.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) hit COP$68 billion (US$18.6 million), with an EBITDA margin of 12%, down from 15.75% in 3Q 2019, according to the company.

“Said decrease in EBITDA margin is due again to idle costs due to [Covid-19 shutdown] paralysis. By the end of the year, we expect the EPCs [engineering, procurement and construction contractors] to be able to bill the concessionaires for these costs, which will allow the recovery of the EBITDA margin,” according to the company

As of September 2020, total assets totaled COP$2.29 trillion (US$628 million), while liabilities totaled COP$1.21 trillion (US$332 million), according to El Condor.

As of September 2020, the construction backlog -- the balance of works contracted and to be executed --totaled COP$552 billion (US$151 million), including COP$227 billion (US$62 million) of invoicing executed during the latest quarter, the company added.


Sura 3Q 2020 Net Profits Fall 72% Year-on-Year

Friday, 13 November 2020 17:02 Written by

Medellin-based insurance and investment giant Grupo Sura announced November 13 that its third quarter (3Q) net profit fell 72% year-on-year, to COP$23.9 billion (US$6.56 million).

Nine-months 2020 net profit likewise fell 73% year-on-year, to COP$397 billion (US$109 million), according to the company.

“The insurance business continued to show resilience, even at a time when the pandemic increased its impact in Colombia, while the asset management business continued to improve the performance of the reserve requirement and the operating trends of the businesses recovered,” according to Sura.

Operating income so far this year has declined 3.3% year-on-year, to COP$15.4 trillion (US$4.22 billion), while 3Q 2020 operating income is down 2% year-on-year, according to the company.

“The growth in written premiums, income from the provision of health services and asset management fees are highlighted. On the other hand, income from investments and by the equity method decreased 28.3% and 67.5% so far this year, but a partial recovery was evident in the third quarter,” the company added.

Operating expenses grew 2.9% as of September and 4.5% in the third quarter, “driven by a normalization of the dynamics of the insurance business, a slight increase in claims, constitution of reserves and costs, and investments made to accompany clients,” according to Sura

The “Suramericana” insurance division recorded a net profit of COP$302 billion (US$83 million) in the first nine months of 2020 and COP$9.4 billion (US$2.6 million) in 3Q 2020 “in one of the most critical moments of the pandemic and facing reopening of economies,” according to Sura.

The health-care portion of Suramericana “offset the impact on claims and expenses associated with the pandemic in the ‘life’ segment,” according to the company.

The Sura Asset Management investment division “continues on a recovery trend and contributed to Grupo Sura’s consolidated results with a net profit of COP$137 billion [US$37.6 million] in the latest quarter and COP$257 billion [US$70 million] so far this year,” according to Sura.

“Positive dynamics can also be seen in the yield on legal reserve and in the income from the equity method of [pension-investment division] ‘Protection,’ which continued the recovery that began in the second quarter.

“Finally, in Grupo Sura (holding company), income from the equity method decreased 69% so far this year, but the positive contribution in the third quarter is highlighted, supported by the results of [equity holdings in] Grupo Nutresa and the partial recovery in the profit of [equity holdings in] Bancolombia,” the company added.


Medellin-based multinational cement producer, electric power generator and airport/highways concessions giant Grupo Argos announced November 12 that its third quarter (3Q) 2020 profits plunged 85% year-on-year, to COP$77.8 billion (US$21 million).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 3Q 2020 likewise fell 39% year-on-year, to COP$857 billion (US$235 million). 

Company divisions include Cementos Argos, Celsia and Odinsa.

As for nine-months 2020, profits are down 83% year-on-year, to COP$166 billion (US$45 million), while nine-months 2020 EBITDA is down 25%, to COP$2.56 trillion (US$702 million), according to the company.

Consolidated revenues so far this year total COP$10.4 trillion (US$2.85 billion) “and grew 16% in September compared to April [2020] , the month most affected by the impacts of the pandemic,” according to Grupo Argos.

“The shock and austerity plan allowed it to achieve consolidated savings in operating expenses of more than COP$500 billion [US$137 million] at the end of the third quarter and to close with COP$1.6 trillion [US$439 million] in cash to face the challenges of the situation,” according to the company.

“During the [latest] quarter, there were non-recurring situations such as extraordinary contributions from the energy business to the Superintendency of Public Services and maintenance in the cement business that together amounted to more than COP$40 billion [US$10.9 million].

“It is also important to highlight that in third quarter of the previous year, Grupo Argos at a consolidated level recorded non-recurring income from the divestment of the Termoflores plant for COP$1.1 trillion (US$302 million),” the company added.

Colombia operations improved in 3Q 2020 versus 2Q 2020 “with the growth of 79% in the volume of cement shipped, the 18% increase in Celsia's power generation and 61% increase in vehicular traffic in Odinsa’s [airport/highway] concessions in the country,” according to Grupo Argos.

“Added to this performance is the robust liquidity position and the timely and solid financial management of the company, which have allowed it to maintain the confidence of the market and execute at the end of October a new transaction to exchange ordinary bonds for a total amount of COP$136 billion (US$37 million).

“This transaction was constituted as the first private debt exchange carried out in the country, representing a milestone in the Colombian capital market.

“So far this year, Grupo Empresarial Argos has issued debt for close to COP$600 billion (US$165 million) and expects to close the year adding debt totaling COP$1 trillion (US$274 million), remaining as one of the agents that enjoy the greatest confidence in the market and as a catalyst relevant to the country's economy,” the company added.


Medellin-based textile and plastics recycling giant Enka Colombia announced November 12 that its nine-months 2020 net profits have dropped by two-thirds, to COP$2.2 billion (US$604,000).

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dipped modestly, to COP$23.8 billion (US$6.5 million), from COP$26 billion (US$7.1 million) in nine-months 2019.

Gross revenues likewise have fallen sharply in this Covid-19 year, to COP$254 billion (US$70 million), from COP$306 billion (US$84 million) in nine-months 2019.

Meanwhile, Mexico-based Grupo Petrotemex revealed in a November 13 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera oversight agency that it is seeking to buy from 15% to 25% of the outstanding shares of Enka Colombia, assuming that Superfinanciera approves the proposed transaction.

While Enka has had a rough year this year because of the Covid-19 crisis, third quarter (3Q) volumes and EBITDA “show a strong recovery, with volumes similar to 3Q 2019 and an EBITDA higher by 4%,” according to the company.

The modest profit and EBITDA results this year “manage to offset a negative accounting effect due to [Colombia peso to U.S. dollar] exchange differences” that cost the company COP$6.8 billion (US$1.86 million) in the latest quarter.

“Strengthening of the operating cash flow made it possible to pay in advance all the short-term financial obligations contracted to face the [Covid-19] pandemic, reducing the debt ratio to 0.2-times EBITDA, lower than the end of 2019 (1.3-times),” according to Enka.

In 3Q 2020, “sales volume reached a level similar to that of the same period in 2019 (-1.0%), highlighting the good performance of green [recycled plastics] business sales, which offset the lower sales of filaments, while the industrial threads line reached similar levels,” according to the company.

EBITDA in 3Q 2020 “recovered from a practically balanced level in 2Q 2020” thanks to “recovery in volume, the highest exchange rate and the commercial, operational and administrative efforts to face the pandemic,” according to Enka.

“These results allow us to be optimistic about the recovery prospects for our markets, without losing sight of the risks associated with Covid-19 and the measures to contain it. We continue to closely monitor the recovery of beverage consumption, a fundamental factor to increase again the volumes of [plastic] bottle recycling in the country,” the feedstock for its “green” synthetic fibers.

To date, exports represent 44% of operating income, down from 46% last year. “Abroad, the North American market has been the one that has presented a better performance due to less restrictive measures on its economy,” according to Enka.

“For their part, Latin American markets, particularly Brazil and Argentina, although they took longer to reactivate, already show positive signs in demand and their recovery is expected to continue in the coming months.”

As for the Colombian domestic market, “we highlight the good performance in sales of ‘EKO-PET’ and ‘EKO-Polyolefins,’ despite the lower consumption due to Covid-19, which has partially offset the lower sales of textile filaments,” according to Enka.


Medellin-based multinational gold mining giant Mineros SA announced November 12 that its third quarter (3Q) 2020 net profit rose 25% year-on-year, to US$24.8 million.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) likewise rose 39% year-on-year, to US$51.9 million, while revenues rose 14%, to US$121 million, according to the company.

Costs also rose by 4% year-on-year, to US$78.5 million, “explained by higher cost of artisanal mining in Nicaragua,” according to the company.

Higher revenues came from the 28% jump in world gold prices, plus a US$1.1 million gain from an insurance claim in alluvial mining in Colombia.

As for nine-months 2020 results, net profit jumped 74% year-on-year, to US$50.2 million, while EBITDA jumped 54%, to US$146.8 million.

In Colombia, 3Q 2020 gold production rose 2.7% year-on-year, while EBITDA margin jumped 82% and cash flow more-than-tripled, according to the company.

Because Soma Gold took control of Mineros’ relatively higher-cost rock-mining operation in June, the remaining, lower-cost alluvial mining operation cut over-all costs of operations in Colombia, year-on-year, the company noted.\

In Nicaragua, production dipped 2.7% year-on-year, while costs rose 9%. In Argentina, gold production fell 30% year-on-year as the remaining gold deposit in an open-pit mine neared its end-of-life.

As for the full-year 2020 outlook, Mineros foresees corporate-wide gold production of 270,000 ounces. The company also aims to complete an economic analysis for the La Pepa mine in Chile, and continue in a joint-venture with Royal Road in Nicaragua and Colombia, the company added.


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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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