Profits at Colombian cement producer Cemento Argos grew to 156bn pesos (currently US$58m) in 2003, up nine per cent on the previous year, Economia en Red reported. Operating revenues for the year were 186bn pesos, up 21 per cent on sales of 2.7Mt. Operating profit grew 10 per cent to 152bn pesos, while the company balance sheet as at December 31, 2003 recorded assets of 2.5 trillion pesos, up 41 per cent on the prior year, while debts were down 27 per cent at 64.1bn.
Cemento Argos has invested in CorpoIncem (Panama), Cemento Andino (Venezuela), CimNational (Haiti) and Cemento Colon (Dominican Republic) that together sold 1.7mt in 2003 and reported profits of US$17.5m. Through these and its other subsidiaries, Argos also provides a reported 10 per cent of US cement imports. Other Argos subsidiaries include Cementos El Cairo and Cementos del Caribe, while it has stakes in Cementos del Valle, Cementos Rioclaro, Colclinker and Tolcemento. The company intends to increase its focus on cement markets in Ecuador and Peru, according to group president Jose Alberto Velez.