Colombia's Grupo Argos says 2019 profit up 5.2% in 2019 on cement, energy

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Grupo Argos is seen in Medellin, Colombia June 25, 2019. Picture taken June 25, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Jaime Acosta

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian industrial conglomerate Grupo Argos ARG.CN on Wednesday reported net profit in 2019 of 1.3 trillion pesos ($379.5 million), up 5.2% from a year earlier thanks to income from its cement and energy subsidiaries.

The company, whose subsidiaries include cement-maker Cementos Argos CCB.CN and energy company Celsia CEL.CN, said in a filing to the country's financial regulator that its consolidated income increased 18% last year to 16.8 trillion pesos compared to 2018.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were 4.8 trillion pesos during 2019, up 21% from the year before and the company’s highest-ever, the filing said.

“In 2019 income growth of 11.4% in the cement business because of larger volumes dispatched in the United States and the better behavior of the market in Colombia stands out,” the company said in a statement. “For its part, the energy business had outstanding development.”

“These results, and the positive dynamic that we are observing in the markets where we operate allows us to look to 2020 with optimism,” chief executive Jorge Mario Velasquez said in a statement.

In the fourth quarter, net profits were down 10% to 297 billion pesos ($86.7 million) compared with the same period the year before because of an increase in taxes.

($1 = 3,425.22 Colombian pesos)

Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by David Gregorio