Colombia’s largest cement producer Cemento Argos posted a COP130bn (US$55.6m) net profit in the first quarter of this year, up 201% from 1Q04, the company said.
The improvement was due to increased revenue from associated cement companies and higher dividend payments from non-cement companies that are part of the investment portfolio, Argos said.
The growth in revenue from associated companies is a result of greater cement, concrete and lime sales, in particular proceeds from the sale of the La Jagua coal mine early this year for US$110m. First quarter domestic sales were COP175bn, while export sales brought in US$24m.
Operating profit in the quarter rose 240% to COP129bn, compared to 1Q04.
In 1Q05, Argos and its associated companies sold over 1Mt of grey cement, up 36% from the same period last year, and concrete sales rose 20% to 278,000M3. Argos and its associated companies exported 507,000t of grey cement and clinker, down 6% from 1Q04, while white cement exports grew 57% to 16,000t.
Further, Argos’ associated companies overseas sold 465,000t of grey cement and clinker in local and international markets in the first quarter. Its overseas companies are in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the US and Venezuela.