In the framework of the Ordinary Assembly, Argos proposed to its shareholders a dividend of US$281.2 per share, 37% higher than in 2021, reflecting the company's historical results in all its dimensions, the outstanding cash flow generation, the low financial leverage and the good prospects of the territories where the company conducts its operations.
This dividend will be paid in cash in four quarterly instalments at a rate of US$70.3 as follows:
April 2022: between the 18th and 28th.
July 2022: between the 18th and 28th.
October 2022: between the 18th and 28th.
January 2023: between the 17th and 27th.
Likewise, as part of its efforts and initiatives directed to create value for society, the General Shareholders' Meeting approved the allocation of 7605 million Colombian pesos in social investment.
During the assembly, the company also announced that, as part of the execution of its strategy to make the business profitable and optimise its asset base and in the framework of its divestment plan of assets located in suburban markets or not integrated to its own logistics and production chain, Argos USA signed an agreement with Smyrna Ready Mix Concrete, LLC., to sell 23 concrete plants (18 in eastern North Carolina and five in southwest Florida), with a right to supply cement for a period of five years. The total value of the sale is approximately US$93 million.
With this sale, the organisation reinforces its strategy of value creation and investment targeting, seeking to maximise the return of its investors' capital. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
"We are extremely happy to share with our shareholders some results of paramount importance that undoubtedly reflect the discipline, the determination and the commitment of our more than 7000 employees to strengthen our value proposition and the execution of a strategy focused on a long-term vision. Our intent is to continue generating profitability for our investors, while contributing to the creation of value for society and making possible the construction of housing and infrastructure dreams,” Juan Esteban Calle, Argos CEO.
Results in 2021
The cement company presented a solid volume performance in most countries. It shipped 17.1 million tons of cement and 7.8 million cubic metres of ready-mix on a consolidated basis, representing increases of 18.3 % and 2.7 % compared to 2020, respectively.
Consolidated revenues were 9.8 billion Colombian pesos, a year-over-year increase of 9.1 %. Consolidated EBITDA for 2021, including the gain from the Dallas divestiture, closed at 2.16 billion Colombian pesos and is the highest in the history of Argos, up 34 % compared to 2020. The annual EBITDA margin was 22% and is the highest since 2005, when the internationalisation of the company began.
Financial flexibility, leverage for growth and sustainability:
Solid financial results allowed to significantly decrease the company's leverage indicator from 4.5 times net debt over EBITDA plus dividends at the beginning of 2021 and place it slightly below 3 times at the end of the year.
Thanks to this and the implementation of operational efficiency strategies that have leveraged debt reduction and the expectation that operating cash flow generation will continue a growth trajectory in the coming years, Fitch Ratings recently announced its decision to upgrade Argos' credit rating outlook from stable to positive.
In 2021, in search of financing options that support the promotion of best practices in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) matters, Argos acquired the disbursement of three loans linked to sustainability indicators.
Strength in the management of environmental, social and governance aspects - ESG:
Based on the monetisation of externalities associated with the management and valuation of all its economic, social and environmental impacts, through the measurement they call Statement of Value Added to Society, VAS, the company highlights that in 2021 they returned to society 2.55 times the profit they retained.
For the ninth consecutive year, along with Grupo Argos, the company was recognised as a world reference in sustainability in the construction materials sector, according to the Dow Jones Global Index. In addition, it was positioned as one of the leading companies in the world with the best environmental, social and governance practices, according to the FTSE4Good responsible and sustainable investment index, and received the Gold Class medal in the S&P Sustainability Yearbook.
At the end of 2021, revenues from products and services with sustainability features exceeded US$1.5 million, representing 47 % of its revenues and far exceeding its target of US$800 million by 2030.
More than 368 000 people were direct beneficiaries of the cement company's social projects, with a consolidated investment of more than US$4.5 million, in the areas of housing improvement, cement donation for road and community infrastructure, quality education, inclusive businesses, health, food security, and support to communities and construction workers in the face of the pandemic crisis.
"2021 will remain a memorable milestone in the history of Argos." Juan Esteban Calle.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/21032022/argos-shares-financial-results-at-shareholders-meeting/