In the midst of a year of uncertainty and complexity, in which the priority for companies became preserving cash, maintaining jobs and mitigating negative impacts as much as possible, the results of Argos, the Grupo Argos’ cement subsidiary, were satisfactory, the company said.
At the end of the fourth quarter 2020, Argos reported an EBITDA of COP 448 billion, representing an increase of 16.3% compared to the same quarter of 2019. This is due to greater economic dynamics in the three regions as well as cost and expense efficiencies captured in the RESET program’s execution – the company’s comprehensive plan to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
Likewise, Argos’ consolidated EBITDA for the year increased 4.5% and reached COP 1.7 trillion. Revenues for the quarter were COP 2.3 trillion, a decrease of 1% from the prior-year period, and consolidated revenues were COP 9 trillion, a 4% drop. For the full year, Argos achieved a positive net profit of COP 78 billion.
“Thanks to our flexibility and resilience and the commitment, creativity and contribution of our employees, in 2020 we achieved an operating result even higher than in 2019,” said Juan Esteban Calle, Argos CEO. “We took relevant steps in terms of financial flexibility, we deepened organizational efficiency. We strengthened our portfolio with specialized products and services, and we continued to create social value for the different stakeholders. The experience of the last year will allow us to be more prepared to face the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that the future presents us with.”
The company reported a 2% increase in cement volumes during the last quarter of 2020, where it dispatched close to 4 million tons. This increase was caused in part by greater export activity from Cartagena and trading in the Caribbean and Central America region. In regard to the full year, cement dispatches were close to 15 million tons, a reduction of 9.1%.
The adjusted concrete volumes, excluding the figures from the 2019 divestiture in the United States, had a decrease of 15.8% during the fourth quarter and 16.3% year over year, on a like-for-like basis. The company said “slower dynamics in the commercial segment of the United States as well as in the formal construction in Colombia” were behind the decrease.