27 de agosto de 2015 / 14:12 / en 2 años

Colombia's Cementos Argos first-half net profit up 81 pct

BOGOTA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Cementos Argos, Colombia’s biggest cement maker, said on Thursday its net profit rose 81 percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the same period last year, due to the success of its operations in the United States and a favorable peso exchange rate.

Between January and June, net profit reached 221 billion pesos ($68.2 million), Cementos Argos said in a statement, compared to the 122 billion peso gains reported during the first half of 2014.

Consolidated income was up 26 percent to 3.5 trillion pesos and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 31 percent to 678 billion pesos compared with the same period in 2014.

The increases were due mainly to continued growth in the United States, where the company benefits from a strong dollar.

Cementos Argos, a subsidiary of Grupo Argos, now earns more that 60 percent of its income in dollars, CEO Jorge Mario Velasquez said in the statement.

“This puts us in a privileged position,” Velasquez said.

“We benefit from increased expansion in our operations in the United States, Central America and the Caribbean and the strengthening of the dollar compared with the Colombian peso.”

The peso has depreciated 67.9 percent in the past 12 months.

The company will host a conference call later on Thursday with investors to discuss the results.

$1 = 3,221 pesos Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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