August 17, 2016 / 2:07 PM / 2 years ago

Cementos Argos profit up 26.8 pct in second quarter

BOGOTA, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Net profit at Colombia’s top cement maker Cementos Argos was up 26.8 percent in the second quarter to 180 billion pesos ($61.9 million) compared with the same period a year ago, the company said, because of sales abroad.

Income at the company, a subsidiary of Grupo Argos, was up 19.9 percent between April and June, to 2.2 trillion pesos, compared with the same quarter in 2015, Cementos Argos said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up 17.8 percent to 436 billion pesos.

“We registered double digit growth in income, EBITDA and net profit thanks to the development of our operations in the United States, Caribbean and Central America, as well as an increase in operational efficiency,” the company said in the statement.

Though a 45-day truckers strike in Colombia affected the transport of cement and concrete, chief executive Juan Esteban Calle said on a call with investors the company is “very positive about the outlook of the Colombian market.”

Cementos Argos estimates it will get higher prices for its products in the United States next year, Calle added.

“We are very confident about the future of Argos in the U.S.,” he said. “We don’t see any price increases in the remainder of the year, but we are fairly positive that for 2017 we will get even better prices in the U.S., both in cement and in ready-mix concrete.”

$1 = 2,905.30 Colombian pesos Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Alistair Bell

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