Argos delivered satisfactory results during the third quarter of 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company reported an improvement in EBITDA despite the impact on volumes mainly caused by hurricanes and heavy rains in the United States.
During the quarter, consolidated shipments of cement and concrete registered a decrease of 8.4% and 19.5%, respectively, and of 12.7% and 16.5% when analyzed year to date. This decrease was compensated thanks to the successful execution of the RESET program, which allowed the company to achieve significant optimizations in costs and expenses, accompanied by better prices in Colombia and the United States.
Revenues from July to September were COP 2,364 billion, a 5.6% decrease. Revenues for the first nine months of the years was COP 6,679 billion, a 5% drop compared to the prior-year period.
On the other hand, the consolidated EBITDA for the quarter was COP 479 billion, a notable increase of 9.5%. The increase was due to the growing participation of Argos in the United States market, the recovery of volumes in the Caribbean and Central America, and cost and expense efficiencies implemented throughout the company. Cumulatively, EBITDA remains stable with respect to 2019.
“We are proud of our company and of our more than 7,500 employees. Thanks to their commitment and good energy, we have been able to overcome the challenges brought by COVID-19 and mitigate the impact of prolonged operation closures,” said Argos chief executive Juan Esteban Calle. “We reaffirm our commitment to RESET initiatives and maintain our focus on achieving greater deleveraging and remarkable results by the end of the year, encouraged by an optimistic vision of the economic recovery and the purpose of continuing to generate employment, building dreams of housing and infrastructure, and contributing social value in all our geographies”.
The United States’ operations continued to show strength even amid the rebound in the pandemic and political uncertainty surrounding the presidential election. Likewise, the operating EBITDA of the region closed at $73 million during the quarter, which represents an increase of 10.5%. However, adverse weather conditions were experienced during the quarter, particularly in Texas, that impacted the company’s performance in the country.
During the third quarter, the company’s volume in Colombia improved versus last quarter’s in line with the market but remained below the volumes of the third quarter of 2019. The organization maintains its focus on delivering value-added products, such as green cement and suelo cemento (road binder).
The Caribbean and Central America region benefited during the quarter from the self-construction trend that prevails worldwide in emerging markets, which led to improvements in EBITDA and cement volumes, especially in Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico. The volume of cement in the region showed a year-on-year increase of 4.7%.