Aug 15 (Reuters) - Grupo SURA, Colombia's largest investment company, on Tuesday cut its 2023 net profit forecast to between 2,400 and 2,700 pesos per share, following an agreement earlier this year to divest its stake in food processing firm Nutresa.
However, the group, which had previously forecast a profit of 3,700 to 4,200 per share, predicted in a quarterly earnings call that its profit would rise beyond prior forecasts next year and surpass these by 15% in 2025.
Jaime Gilinski, one of Colombia's richest men, had in May agreed to exit the stake held by his Grupo Gilinski conglomerate in Grupo SURA, in exchange for a controlling stake of at least 87% in Nutresa.
SURA is a part of what is informally known as GEA, the country's largest conglomerate made up of over a hundred firms across all sectors in a complex shareholding arrangement that involves many internal partnerships.
Analysts have said the agreements reached over the quarter could put an end to Gilinski's attempts to seize stakes in SURA and industrial conglomerate Grupo Argos via public takeover bids, which generated a number of legal disputes.
"This transaction means the company is really making the biggest investment of its history," SURA's Chief Executive Gonzalo Perez said in the earnings call, referring to the shares being gained as a result of the deal.
Following the transaction, SURA expects a 2024 net profit of between 12,700 and 14,200 pesos per share, compared to the previous forecast of between 4,600 and 5,200 pesos, as it reaps benefits from the deal, receiving more of its own shares and growing its stake in Grupo Argos.
For 2025 it expects a net profit of between 6,300 and 7,000 pesos per share.
SURA, which last week said it had sold off its Argentine insurance arm, said it was not planning any further divestments in the insurance sector. (Reporting by Sarah Morland and Marion Giraldo; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Mark Potter)