Cementos Argos, Colombia’s largest cement company, said Monday its consolidated net profit in the first quarter fell
55 per cent from the same period a year ago to 18.5 billion Colombian pesos (US$8.7million).
The company attributed the net-income decline to a one-time revenue in the first quarter of 2006 from the sale of shares in other companies that Argos had in its investment portfolio, Pablo Arroyabe, the company’s spokesman, told Dow Jones Newswires.
The company’s consolidated operating income in the first quarter rose 60 per cent from the same period a year ago to COP1.02 trillion. Cementos Argos’ consolidated income includes the results of all its units in Colombia and abroad.
Cementos Argos’ unconsolidated net income in the first quarter rose 0.2 per cent to COP19.59bn.
In 2005 and 2006, Argos bought three concrete companies in the U.S. for a little less than US$700 million. These are Southern Star Concrete, which has 46 concrete plants in the U.S., Concrete Express, which sells most of its concrete in Georgia and South Carolina, and the ready-mixed concrete supplier RMCC Group Inc.
The Colombian company plans to invest US$40 million in its U.S. units in 2007 to expand their capacity.
Cementos Argos plans to boost its cement exports to the US to 4Mt a year from a current 2.1Mt.