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Positive earnings news from Argos in 1Q18

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World Cement,

Colombia-based Cementos Argos has reported an increase in quarterly earnings in 1Q18, despite a fall in sales volumes of both cement and concrete. The company reported EBITDA of COP371 billion, an increase of 31% on the previous year.

The increase in earnings comes after the implementation of the company’s BEST efficiency strategy, which includes the optimisation of non-operational assets. This resulted in the sale of three power plants for more than US$57 million in the quarter.

“The growth of EBITDA throughout all our regions is proof that the strategy we established is beginning to reap the benefits of the BEST efficiency programme,” said Juan Estaban Calla, President of Cementos Argos.

By region, earnings were up 1.6% in the US, 3.6% in the Caribbean and Central American region, and 110.6% in Colombia – a result of the power plant sale, as well as increases in efficiency elsewhere.

Volumes were however down on the previous year, as adverse winter weather and a number of holidays in Colombia and the Caribbean reduced demand. Cement sales were down 4.1% at 3.7 million t, while concrete volumes were down 7.5% at 2.3 million m3.

Looking ahead, the company is forecasting a positive year on the back of the “good outlook for the three regions where Argos operates and the first quarter positive results, added to the launch of innovative products, more efficient operations, a greater focus on the client and market aspects such as the level of interest rates, trend changes in the residential sector and an increase in shipments for fourth generation infrastructure projects in Colombia”.

Total revenues for the quarter were COP1.9 trillion; net income was COP54.8 billion. Argos is the largest cement producer in Colombia, the fifth largest in Latin America, and a market leader in the southeastern US. It operates 14 cement plants, as well as nine grinding plants, and 24 ports and terminals. Its total installed cement production capacity is 19.9 million tpy.

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Cement news 2018