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Cementos Argos EBITDA* grows 9.5% during the third quarter

  • Durante el tercer trimestre de 2020, el ebitda consolidado de la compañía alcanzó 479.000 millones de pesos.

  • Asimismo, el ebitda operacional de la Regional USA cerró en 73 millones de dólares durante el trimestre, con un crecimiento del 10,5% y una mejora de 470 puntos básicos de margen.

  • La generación de flujo de caja libre fue de 472.000 millones de pesos, proveniente de la mejora en ebitda y eficiencias del capital de trabajo.

  • Destacado desempeño de Honduras, República Dominicana, Haití y Puerto Rico, países que durante estos tres meses exhibieron volúmenes de cemento superiores a los del año anterior.


Argos, empresa de cemento del Grupo Argos, entregó resultados satisfactorios durante el tercer trimestre, en medio de la coyuntura del COVID-19. La compañía reportó una mejora en ebitda a pesar de la afectación de los volúmenes originada, principalmente, por los huracanes y las intensas lluvias en Estados Unidos.

Durante el periodo, los despachos consolidados de cemento y concreto* registraron una disminución de 8,4% y 19,5%, respectivamente, y de 12,7% y 16,5% si se analiza el acumulado del año. Esta disminución fue compensada gracias a la exitosa ejecución del programa RESET que le permitió a la compañía alcanzar optimizaciones significativas en costos y gastos, acompañadas de mejores precios en Colombia y Estados Unidos. Como resultado de lo anterior, los ingresos alcanzados de julio a septiembre fueron de 2,4 billones de pesos, con una reducción de 5,6%, y de 6,7 billones, con una contracción de 5%, si se tienen en cuenta los resultados de lo que va corrido del año.

Por su parte, el ebitda* consolidado del trimestre fue de 479.000 millones de pesos y registró un notable incremento de 9,5%, hito alcanzado, en gran medida, por la creciente participación de la compañía en el mercado de Estados Unidos, la recuperación de volúmenes en el Caribe y Centroamérica, y las eficiencias de costos y gastos implementadas en toda la compañía. De manera acumulada, el ebitda se mantiene estable con respecto a 2019.

“Estamos orgullosos de nuestra empresa y de los más de 7.500 colaboradores que tenemos en Argos. Gracias a su compromiso y buena energía hemos podido sortear los desafíos que ha traído el COVID-19 y mitigar el impacto de los cierres prolongados de operaciones. Reafirmamos nuestro compromiso con las iniciativas de RESET y mantenemos nuestro foco en lograr un mayor desapalancamiento y resultados destacables para fin de año, alentados por una visión optimista de la recuperación económica y el propósito de seguir generando empleo, construyendo sueños de vivienda e infraestructura y aportando valor social en todas nuestras geografías”.

Juan Esteban Calle
Presidente de Cementos Argos

Juan_Esteban_Calle-480x720-0f978120-001f-496f-a40a-662688f8bd92

Así avanza RESET, el plan de Argos para mitigar los efectos de la pandemia:

 

  • Liquidez: la compañía generó 472.000 millones de pesos en flujo de caja libre, producto de la mejora del ebitda y de la liberación de capital de trabajo, lo que le permitió amortizar deuda por 288.000 millones de pesos. Por su parte, los ahorros durante el trimestre alcanzaron los 33 millones de dólares.

 

  • Excelencia operacional: Argos avanzó en la implementación de gemelos digitales, a través del uso de inteligencia artificial, para analizar datos históricos de los hornos y molinos de cemento y, así, obtener la mezcla óptima de energéticos y materias primas para producir cemento. Los ahorros esperados son de 13 millones de dólares anuales a partir de 2022.

 

  • Salud y seguridad: en septiembre se reinició con éxito la operación de Panamá tras la decisión del gobierno de reabrir el país luego de dos meses de cierre total y tres adicionales de reapertura parcial, lo que hizo de esta la cuarentena más extensa de las geografías donde opera la organización.

 

Hechos destacados de los mercados:

Estados Unidos: continuó mostrando su fortaleza incluso en el medio del repunte de la pandemia y la incertidumbre política que rodeó las elecciones presidenciales. El ebitda operacional de esta regional cerró en 73 millones de dólares durante el trimestre, con un crecimiento del 10,5% y una mejora de 470 puntos básicos de margen. No obstante, durante el trimestre se experimentaron condiciones climáticas adversas, particularmente en Texas, derivadas de cuatro huracanes, dos tormentas e intensas lluvias que impactaron el desempeño de la compañía en el país.

 

El contexto macroeconómico sigue siendo moderadamente positivo con relación al sector de la construcción. En infraestructura, la renovación del Fast Act por un año con 13.600 millones de dólares agregados al Fondo Fiduciario de Carreteras y el anuncio del presupuesto de Florida 2020-2021, que incluye 9.900 millones de dólares en fondos para el Departamento de Transporte de Florida, aseguran el financiamiento necesario para continuar los proyectos de infraestructura hasta que se apruebe un plan integral a nivel federal.

 

Colombia: durante el tercer trimestre, los volúmenes de cemento de la compañía mejoraron en comparación con el trimestre pasado en línea con el mercado, pero se mantuvieron aún por debajo de los del tercer trimestre de 2019.

 

La organización mantiene su enfoque hacia la entrega de productos de valor agregado, tales como el cemento verde y el suelo cemento. En los últimos cuatro años, se ha utilizado el suelo cemento de Argos para pavimentar aproximadamente 350 kilómetros de vías terciarias y secundarias y se ha demostrado que es una excelente alternativa para dinamizar la infraestructura rural con menores costos y resultados duraderos.

 

En cuanto a la dinámica del mercado, las ventas de viviendas VIS aumentaron durante septiembre un 43% respecto al mismo mes de 2019 y continúan con la tendencia positiva que han logrado mantener durante la crisis del COVID-19. Más importante aún, las ventas de vivienda nuevas No-VIS durante septiembre, por primera vez durante la pandemia, aumentaron 16% en comparación con el mismo mes del año pasado.

 

En infraestructura, el inicio formal de la construcción del Metro de Bogotá, junto con las inversiones anunciadas por el gobierno por más de 30 billones de pesos, divididas en la primera ola de los proyectos 5G, los programas Concluir, Concluir, Concluir y Vías para la Legalidad, reafirman su compromiso de continuar invirtiendo en este sector y establecen fuertes impulsores para el consumo de cemento durante los próximos 10 años.

 

Caribe y Centroamérica: cabe resaltar que esta regional se vio beneficiada durante el trimestre por la tendencia de autoconstrucción que prevalece a nivel mundial en los mercados emergentes, lo que derivó en mejoras en el ebitda y en los volúmenes de cemento, especialmente en Honduras, República Dominicana, Haití y Puerto Rico. El volumen de cemento en la regional presentó un incremento interanual de 4,7%.

 

En cuanto a la dinámica del mercado, Argos mantiene una visión positiva dada la combinación de mejores condiciones de mercado, estrategias comerciales adecuadas y las iniciativas de reducción de costos.

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PIEDAD MONSALVE

Gerente de Comunicaciones
pmonsalve@argos.com.co
(57 4) 3198700

DANIELA VALLE

Directora de Comunicaciones
dvalle@argos.com.co

Atmospheric emissions

We are committed to reducing our emissions through actions that achieve more efficient processes and the implementation of abatement measures, contributing to good air quality in the places where we operate.  Our cement-, concrete- and aggregate-production processes generate punctual and scattered particulate matter (PM) emissions, as well as emissions of sulfur oxides (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the clinkering furnaces of the cement plants.

  • For society:  To contribute to mitigating the impact on air quality in the areas where we operate, acting responsibly and promoting relationships of trust with our Stakeholders.

 

  • For the company:  To develop more efficient processes that allow us to reduce our atmospheric emissions and contribute to responsible production, complying with local regulations in the countries where we operate and – in some cases – going beyond compliance with said regulations, contributing to the profitability of the business and preparing to face future challenges.

The “Emissions” pillar of our Environmental Strategy focuses on: Working on the adequate measurement, control and reduction of SO2, NOx and particulate-material (PM) emissions generated by our production processes in the cement business and on the prevention and mitigation of our dispersed emissions of particulate material (dust), originated mainly by the activities of transportation, transfer, unloading and storage of materials in the cement, concrete and aggregate processes. The foregoing, through operational control, optimization and renewal of emission-control systems to achieve continuous improvement.

Industry positioning

We position ourselves as strategic allies for the development of the territories where we are present, directly and through the empowerment of our value chain.  We do it through the construction of housing and sustainable infrastructure that enables the closing of socioeconomic gaps, the generation of employment, the improvement of the quality of life and the reduction of the impacts generated.

  • For society:  To sustainably respond to the growing demand for housing and infrastructure of the world population with the aim of improving people’s quality of life, interconnecting regions and developing innovative solutions. 

 

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    For the company:  To be strategic allies of the actors in our value chain in order to maintain the Company’s leadership in the market, ensure its competitiveness over time and increase the generation of sustainable value.

We are committed to the role we have as a Company in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda goals, the consolidation of territorial development plans where we operate, and the economic reactivation of the countries affected by the pandemic. Therefore, we focus our efforts in the development of sustainable housing and infrastructure projects that contribute to closing socioeconomic gaps, generating employment under safe conditions, environmental protection, and investment in improving people’s health systems and quality of life. 

Our work unfolds in three large lines:

 

Cities for everyone:

 

With nearly 54% of the world  population living in urban areas, the pandemic made inequality of those who live in the cities of the world

manifest. Nearly 90% of the COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the urban

centers that have, among others, challenges associated with access to basic services and decent housing conditions. For this reason, we work together with our value chain to develop projects that benefit the lessfavored population, facilitate access to housing, and promote development in

the areas of influence.

 

Interconnected cities

 

The need to connect urban areas with rural areas to expand the coverage

of basic services, such as health, has been a priority of developing countries

since before the pandemic. Therefore, during 2020, we continued working on creating innovative solutions that allow us to be present in the large projects of the countries and territories where we are present.

 

Intelligent cities

 

In recent years, the acuteness of the effects of climate change became the

risk of greatest impact to the world. Therefore, in the global stage, a need

has grown to transition to a low-carbon economy, an opportunity that becomes more relevant amid post-pandemic recovery scenarios and the effort we are making as a Company to generate new business models that respond to environmental and social challenges. For this reason, our Climate-Change Strategy includes actions aimed at mitigating the impacts associated with our productive processes, adapting our operating model and innovating from the identification of optimization opportunities.

Supplier management

Supplier management is a fundamental pillar of our Supply Chain Strategy; it seeks to build and strengthen relationships with strategic allies who have the ability to contribute to the Company in terms of efficiency, productivity, customer service and innovation.  For this reason, we carefully select our suppliers, transfer knowledge to promote their development, promote good practices and recognize those who are an example of sustainable, innovative, safe and responsible management.

  • For society:  To develop our suppliers, promote transparent practices and responsible conduct, to improve the productivity and competitiveness of our society and support the construction of a better future.

 

  • For the company:  To seek to add value throughout the Company’s supply chain, from the purchase of goods and services to the delivery of products to clients.  Through the mitigation of risks and potentiation of opportunities, the implementation of good contracting practices and service excellence, we create relationships of trust and turn suppliers into business allies.

Our management is divided into five stages:

  1. Identification: We determine the goods and services required for our operation and the category to which they belong, according to our Category Tree. This groups our suppliers into macro-categories which – in turn – are subdivided into two more specific levels.
  2. Pre-Selection: We validate the suitability of suppliers through due diligence and review aspects of sustainability and financial health to ensure long-term relationships.
  3. Negotiation: We select suppliers with high standards, considering technical, economic, sustainability and service aspects.
  4. Retention and evaluation: We carry out knowledge-transfer processes with those suppliers with growth potential.
    • We characterize our suppliers as critical suppliers or with potential risk in sustainability.
    • We measure the management of critical suppliers through performance evaluations in terms of quality, service, occupational health and safety, having constant feedback and identifying key factors for their development.
    • We apply the Sustainability Index to suppliers with potential sustainability risks, to identify challenges, opportunities, and to develop joint action plans in environmental, economic, social and Human-Rights matters.
    • We implement additional controls and development plans to suppliers belonging to categories where the greatest potential risks have been identified. This is how, for example, we develop road-safety strategies for our logistics suppliers; with mining suppliers, we carry out a more rigorous pre-selection process, and with contractors, we have special controls on occupational health and safety.
    • We have a Transparency Line for Stakeholders to report possible improper actions and to implement the pertinent corrective actions. 
  5. Recognition:  Every two years, through Growing Together (Creciendo Juntos), we recognize the suppliers that have shown outstanding performance in innovation, sustainability, health and safety and development and comprehensiveness.

 

Additionally, we have:

 

Contracting manual: transparent action framework that guides the negotiation and contracting of our suppliers to allow the process to be agile, make use of best practices and carry out adequate risk management.

 

Code of conduct for suppliers: in which we define the principles and behaviors that we expect from our allies in terms of respect for human rights, protection of workers, environmental management, business ethics and responsible business practices.

Ethics and compliance

We are convinced that ethics and integrity are fundamental and non-negotiable; that is why we live by these principles, integrating them into our operations, processes, and strategy, thus generating value responsibly for our business, our Stakeholders, and for society.  Through the Global Governance and Compliance Program, our ethics and business conduct system, we seek to promote that our actions are consistent with the pillars of corporate culture and integrity as the guiding principle of our business activity.

  • For society:  To promote transparent, competitive, and sustainable business environments that strengthen trust and ethics in business, generating positive impacts for the market and society.

 

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    For the company:  To promote that our actions are consistent with the pillars of culture and that integrity is the inspiring principle of all members of the Organization.  This is how we consolidate ourselves as a competitive, reliable company in the eyes of investors and other Stakeholders.

We have voluntarily adopted a self-regulatory framework that confirms our commitment to business ethics as a way to promote transparent practices that contribute to the development of competitive environments. This framework* incorporates mandatory principles of ethics and conduct:

 

 

For the proper implementation and application of these guidelines, the strengthening of the ethical culture, the prevention and control of incorrect actions, our Board of Directors approved the Global Governance and Compliance Program (GGCP, in Spanish). The program structure incorporates international best practices to evaluate compliance programs, such as ISO 37001, ISO 19600 and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines. The program has the following scope:

 

 

Likewise, it systematically groups together the activities carried out to promote integrity in the Company’s actions, its employees, and members

of the value chain, which allow the updating and permanent strengthening

of the program. Operating Scheme:

 

Efficiency and productivity

We materialize our Corporate Strategy through actions aimed at the efficient use of resources, the improvement of our financial flexibility and the maximization of income generation and business profitability.  We focus on the application of efficient, safe production processes and circular economy models, on the diversification of energy management models and on the efficient management of the supply chain.

  • For society:  To provide solutions and products that meet the needs of our clients through the responsible, appropriate use of resources and the incorporation of raw materials and alternative energy sources.

 

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    For the company:  To guarantee business sustainability, optimize working capital and capital investments, reduce costs and the level of indebtedness, and mitigate risks regarding the availability of resources necessary for our operation and the emergence of new business realities, environmental requirements and new regulations.

Creamos valor construyendo relaciones sólidas que transforman el futuro de la sociedad

Creamos valor a través de nuestro compromiso con el desarrollo responsable y transparente de nuestras actividades.