Argos: positive developments across the board

Argos: positive developments across the board
Published: 25 February 2014


Argos, closed 2013 with a strong rise in EBITDA on the back of positive contributions from all its regional divisions. Other highlights for the year were the inclusion of Argos on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, successful issuance of preferred shares in Colombia and abroad, and new acquisitions to close a successful year for Argos.

“2013 was a year that completely transformed this company. The successful issuance of preferred shares significantly helped us implement our expansion strategy, which materialized with the recent acquisitions in Honduras and Florida. The historical EBITDA obtained in 2013, close to COP1trn, complements the list of other goals that were achieved, for example, in the field of sustainability, recognised through the inclusion of the company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index”, said Jorge Mario Velásquez, CEO of Argos.

Argos registered a EBITDA of COP978bn, up 24 per cent YoY, on the back of positive contributions from all its regional divisions. Revenue improved by 13 per cent and net income, after excluding non-recurring income jumped 67 per cent YoY.

During 2013 cement sales rose by five per cent YoY to 11.4Mt while ready-mix concrete increased by 10 per cent YoY to 9.4Mm3. The company reported higher cement and ready-mix concrete dispatches in all markets in which it operates, reflecting the recovery in the US and continued positive tends in Colombia, Central America and the Caribbean.

In the company’s domestic market of Colombia, construction proved to be the economy’s main driver. This positive trend helped Argos improve revenue by about 12 per cent YoY, with cement and ready-mix concrete sales reaching 5.2Mt and 3.4Mm3, respectively. Argos continued to strengthen its nationwide presence with the installation of 18 new concrete plants. It also expanded its coverage to serve eight additional intermediate cities to prepare itself for expected increases in infrastructure needs and the development of the commercial and residential sectors.

In the US, cement dispatches totaled 1.8Mt, a 12 per cent YoY increase. Ready-mix concrete sales improved five per cent YoY to 5.4Mm3. Argos noted that the market continues to show encouraging signs, confirming the strategic importance and potential of this regional division to generate value for Argos in the future.

The Caribbean and Central American regional division also showed encouraging economic growth rates and positive tends in the construction sector. Economic growth in Panama is being driven by various infrastructure projects such as the expansion of the metro in Panama City, the Canal and Tocumen airport. Furthermore, the Honduran economy ended 2013 with growth of about 13 per cent and the expectations for 2014 are even better based on the important public-private partnerships that have been announced for infrastructure developments. Argos’ revenues in this division increase by 12 per cent 2013 reaching at total of US$448m, with cement and ready-mix concrete sales totaling 3Mt and 540,000m3, respectively.