Colombian producer Cementos Argos posted COP2.2bn (US$1.2bn) in consolidated revenues for the first nine months of 2010. Although this represents a decline of 17 per cent in pesos and three per cent in dollar terms, it should be noted that last year’s figures income of US$42m received for the sale of coal mining assets (El Hatillo and Cerro Largo) to Brazilian multinational firm, VALE.
Cementos Argos’ EBITDA, on a year-to-date basis at September 30, 2010
dropped by 19 per cent in pesos or seven per cent in dollars to US$218m. The Company’s EBITDA margin for this same period came to 18.6 per cent compared to 19.2 per cent for the same period last year.
The Colombia Division has performed well, thanks to certain infrastructure projects which are now underway and in which Argos continues to play an active role. The Caribbean Division is also doing well, with the start-up of the new production line in Cartagena (which is internally classified as belonging to the Caribbean Division and is now operating at 60% of its installed capacity), as well as certain other infrastructure projects, especially in Panama, all of which has been driving the results for this division.
Conversely, its US operations have continued to post unsatisfactory results, having dropped below the previously forecast levels. Although volumes are starting to stabilize, there is no sign as yet of any rise in demand that would reverse the present slump in prices, this being the main reason behind the negative performance of our US Division.