Chilean fuel retail chain Copec has reached 40% market share in Colombia.
The company entered the Colombian market five years ago with the purchase of local oil and gas company Terpel. Since the purchase in May 2010 market share has increased by eight points to 40% market share.
Copec CEO Lorenzo Gazmuri Schleyer stated that while the purchase has been an important part of their strategy in the region it was not the only factor. In particular he cited the implementation of a new consumer focused service strategy.
The CEO praised the corporate reorganisation in the wake of the purchase, saying that it "represented a significant achievement for the company." It was a difficult process that required the approval of shareholders of three companies: Proenergía, Sociedad de Inversiones en Energía and Terpel del Centro.
Although the executive pointed out good decisions, such as keeping Terpel executives who were in charge of the management of the company or who have the ability to adapt the Copec model to the local culture, he also mentioned that the project had faced challenges.
"Perhaps most complex has been to maintain our belief that we must maintain high investment flows since, as I mentioned, Terpel is causing a radical change in the market for Colombian fuels, in a period when the tax structure has become very heavy, "said Gazmuri Schleyer.
The sector has seen a significant increase in effective tax rates. Between 2010 and 2014 taxes have risen steeply, reaching 68% in the last year. “This increase could eventually suffocate the industry, but I am optimistic," he continued.