EuroChem Group AG reports IFRS financial information for the third quarter and first nine months of 2015
|Q3 2015||Q3 2014||Chng||9M 2015||9M 2015||Chng|
|USD m||USD m||Y-o-Y, %||USD m||USD m||Y-o-Y, %|
|Cash from operations||344||321||7%||1,028||787||31%|
|Net Debt/ LTM(1) EBITDA(2)||30-Sep-15||30-Sep-14||30-Sep-15||30-Sep-14|
(1) LTM: Last Twelve Months
(2) Including net income from associates and joint ventures
Zug, Switzerland, 12 November 2015 – EuroChem Group AG (hereinafter “EuroChem”, “Group” or “Company”), one of the world’s leading global agrochemical companies, today reported consolidated revenues for the third quarter of 2015 of US$ 1.12 billion as compared to US$ 1.19 billion in the third quarter of 2014. Group revenues for the first nine months of the year amounted to US$ 3.49 billion, 11% behind the US$ 3.94 billion generated during the same period last year as the weaker product pricing environment overshadowed a slight volumes growth.
Reflecting the effects of currency shifts on the Group’s cost base, third quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) expanded 20% year-on-year to US$ 438 million. The strong third quarter performance carried the Group’s EBITDA for the first nine months of the year 12% higher to US$ 1.22 billion as compared to US$ $1.09 billion during the same period in 2014.
Third-quarter nitrogen and phosphates sales volumes grew 6% to 2.75 million tonnes (MMT), as compared to 2.60 MMT as higher sales of AN/ANF and complex fertilizers more than compensated for the period’s more challenging urea trading. During the first nine months of the year, the Group sold 8.17 MMT of nitrogen and phosphates products, in line with the volumes sold during the same period a year ago.
Slightly stronger iron ore sales pushed raw material mining sales volumes 1% higher to 1.44 MMT, as compared to 1.43 MMT in the third quarter of 2014. For the 1 January to 30 September period, the Group sold 4.21 MMT of mineral raw materials, as compared to 4.17 MMT during the first nine months of 2014.
The Group distributed 1.46 MMT of third-party products during the first nine months of the year, 16% more than in the same period a year ago and including 974 KMT of ammonium sulphate (AS).
“Another strong quarter for EuroChem amidst an overall lacklustre market backdrop”, said EuroChem CEO Dmitry Strezhnev. “We began ore deliveries from our Kazakhstan operations and secured our foothold in North America with the acquisition of a US distributor. In parallel, we continued with our potash projects and broke ground on a new ammonia plant in Russia. Combined, these initiatives unlock further value while strategically positioning EuroChem to capture the next wave of opportunities.”
|Last 12 Months|
|Average market prices (US$/tonne)||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||y-o-y chng%||9M 2015||9M 2014||y-o-y chng%||high||low|
|Ammonia (FOB Yuzhny)||$388||$486||-20%||$396||$469||-16%||$604||$383|
|Prilled urea (FOB Yuzhny)||$269||$319||-16%||$279||$319||-12%||$325||$253|
|AN (FOB Black Sea)||$196||$277||-29%||$227||$280||-19%||$289||$188|
|MAP (FOB Baltic)||$466||$497||-6%||$472||$473||-%||$489||$449|
|MOP (FOB Baltic, spot)||$294||$287||3%||$291||$284||2%||$300||$283|
|Iron ore (CFR China)||$55||$93||-41%||$59||$107||-45%||$83||$49|
Averages derived from weekly market prices as reported by trade publications.
Third-quarter fertilizer trading was mixed as expectations of another robust harvest and strong ending stocks continued to weigh heavily on soft commodity prices. Adjusting to the lacklustre backdrop, traders and distributors resolved to maintain inventories lean across much of the fertilizer supply chain.
In nitrogen, supply outstripped demand as producers in emerging regions enjoyed the additional competitive edge offered by currency devaluations against the US dollar. Averaging US$ 269 /tonne, urea’s (FOB Yuzhny) third-quarter average was 16% below its Q3 2014 average of US$ 319/tonne, and 3% lower than in the second quarter of 2015. The market for ammonium nitrate remained shallow with an average price per tonne of US$ 196/tonne (FOB Black Sea) in the third quarter, 29% behind a Q3 2014 average of US$ 277/tonne and 8% down quarter-on-quarter.
Potash prices stood out amongst the other two primary nutrients by showing an increase. Third quarter MOP (FOB Baltic Sea) spot prices inched up 3%, from US$ 287/tonne in 2014 to US$ 294/tonne in Q3 2015, which was also 1% above the previous quarter’s average of US$ 292/tonne.
Standing out amongst the other two primary nutrients, third quarter MOP (FOB Baltic Sea) spot prices inched up 3%, from US$ 287/tonne in 2014 to US$ 294/tonne in Q3 2015, which was also 1% above the previous quarter’s average of US$ 292/tonne.
As for iron ore, which is a by-product of EuroChem’s phosphate rock mining operations at Kovdorskiy, the prevailing weak demand from the Chinese steel sector continued to drive prices closer to marginal cost. Iron ore prices (CFR China) finished the quarter with an average of US$ 55/tonne, 41% below the same period in 2014 and an additional 7% below their average in the second quarter of 2015.
Eurochem Group AG financial results
While EuroChem historically reported its operating results according to key product groups (nitrogen, phosphates, potash, distribution), the Group has been optimising its management and organisational structure and implementing a new economic model based on business divisions. Starting from January 2015, the Group’s business is conducted by five operating divisions aggregated in five reportable segments identified as Oil & Gas, Mining, Fertilizers, Logistics, and Sales. Although the information provided in this publication is based on product groups, the Group presents both reporting approaches in its financial accounts.
|US$m||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||chng,%||9M 2015||9M 2014||chng,%||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||chng,%||9M 2015||9M 2014||chng,%|
Group revenues for the third quarter amounted to US$ 1.12 billion, as compared to US$ 1.19 billion in the third quarter of 2014. The 6% decline in revenues primarily reflected the year’s more challenging market dynamics as the growth in volumes was overshadowed by the lower market prices observed across the Group’s fertilizer and mining products. Our revenues for the first nine months of the year stood at US$ 3.49 billion, 11% behind the US$ 3.94 billion realised over the same period in 2014.
In light of the weaker pricing environment, the launch of additional ammonia and phosphate rock capacity coupled with favourable currency movements across the group’s cost base generated significant profitability tailwinds. Accordingly, given the significant exposure of the Group’s cost base to the Russian rouble, our third quarter EBITDA climbed 20% to US$ 438 million, up from US$ 365 million in the corresponding period last year. For the 1 January to 30 September 2015 period, Group EBITDA reached US$ 1.22 billion, 12% above EBITDA of US$ 1.09 billion achieved in the first nine months of 2014.
For the first nine months of the year, the Group’s revenues were predominantly denominated in US$ and EUR, which accounted for 46% and 28% of total revenues, respectively, while 19% of sales were denominated in Russian roubles. In economic sense the Group views most of its sales as linked to the US$ regardless of their denomination currency. As for our cost base, the Group estimates that 40% of total cash operating costs (including transportation) for the January to September period were incurred in Russian roubles with the remainder in US$ and EUR.
|Geography of sales||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||Change in
|9M 2015||9M 2014||Change in
|CIS (excl. Russia)||13%||8%||5||8%||6%||2|
The European and Russian markets, which are viewed as home markets given the Group’s production footprint, together accounted for 49% of third quarter sales (Q3 14: 54%) and 56% of sales during the first nine months of the year (9M 14: 56%).
Third-quarter sales to Latin America declined 9 percentage points as demand in Brazil continued to be weakened by credit issues and the depreciation of the Real against the US dollar. With buyer engagement relatively limited in South America, the Group channelled additional volumes north of the equator. Sales to North America increased 71% year-on-year to constitute 13% of total third-quarter sales. Showing a 60% year-on-year increase, sales to CIS countries (excl. Russia) accounted for 13% of sales with much of the growth primarily driven by the effects of supply constraints on the Ukrainian market.
As highlighted by the growth in EBITDA, the positive impact of currency shifts continued to lessen the Group’s cost base in US dollar terms. Third-quarter costs of sales, excluding the costs of goods for resale, decreased 20% to US$ 546 million, as compared to US$ 681 million in the third quarter of 2014. Raw materials, the largest item in the Group’s cost structure, represented 54% of costs and declined 16% year-on-year to US$ 295 million. For the first nine months of the year, cost of sales amounted to US$ 1.64 billion, 22% below the US$ 2.12 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2014. Also reflecting the impact of the rouble devaluation, the Group incurred energy costs of US$ 35 million in the first nine months of the year, 36% below the US$ 55 million spent in the same period a year ago.
Third-quarter labour costs, including contributions to social funds, declined 26% to US$ 56 million (Q3 2014: US$ 75 million) and amounted to US$ 177 million in the first nine months of the year, as compared to US$ 245 million a year earlier. Labour costs represented 11% of the Group’s total cost of sales in the first nine months of the year. Total Group-wide staff costs for the third quarter and first nine months of the year amounted to US$ 90 million and US$ 285 million, respectively, both 25% lower than their corresponding periods in 2014. For the 1 January to 30 September period, our distribution of third-party products provided a net contribution of US$ 52 million, generated on revenues of US$ 400 million and costs of goods for resale of US$ 347 million.
Underneath the operating line, we recognised non-operating losses of US$ 131 million, as compared to losses of US$ 568 million in the first nine months of 2014. These losses were primarily comprised of financial foreign exchange losses recognised from the US$ revaluation of the Group’s 2017 Eurobond issued at the level of AO MCC EuroChem, which has the Russian rouble as its functional currency as prescribed by IFRS rules.
Foreign exchange gains and losses, as well as gains and losses from currency translation, should be excluded from the analysis of the underlying operating performance of the Group.
As at 30 September 2015, the Group had a covenant net debt of US$ 2.61 billion on 12-month rolling EBITDA of US$ 1.64 billion, providing for a gearing ratio of 1.59x, as compared to 1.56x as at 30 June 2015 and 1.77x as at 31 December 2014.
As at 30 September 2015, the appreciation of the US dollar against the Russian rouble observed in the third quarter of the year had pushed net working capital down 16% to US$ 565 million, as compared to US$ 674 million as at 30 June 2015. This quarterly decrease highlights the effects of an appreciating US dollar on the prices for finished goods and raw materials at our Russian operations where these items are accounted for in roubles with the rouble being their functional currency.
Reversing the 8% second-quarter increase, the strengthening of the US dollar against the Russian rouble drove net non-current assets down to US$ 4.40 billion over the course of the third quarter.
In early September, the Group signed a US$ 750 million pre-export finance club facility with a club of international banks. The deal was structured as a 4-year facility and includes a 2-year grace period. A total of 11 institutions participated in the facility.
The Group generated operating cash flow of US$ 344 million during the three-month period between July and September, lifting cash flow generation for the first nine months of the year to US$ 1.03 billion. This compares to US$ 321 million and US$ 787 million during the third quarter and first nine months of 2014, respectively.
In line with the launch of new investment projects, including the construction of a new ammonia plant in Russia, capital expenditure (capex) spending continued to pick-up pace. Third-quarter capex of US$ 312 million, when combined with first and second quarter capex of US$ 142 million and US$ 216 million, respectively, brought capex for the first nine months of the year to US$ 670 million. This compares a capex outlay of US$ 734 million during the first nine months of 2014.
As at 30 September, we had allocated US$ 292 million to the Group’s potash projects in 2015, of which US$ 154 million for our Usolskiy project and US$ 138 million at our VolgaKaliy site.
During the January to September period the Group invested US$ 158 million in its phosphates operations. The bulk of the investments were directed at our Kovdorskiy apatite and iron mine in Russia and the development of a phosphate rock deposit in Kazakhstan. Earlier in the year, a new apatite-staffelite ore processing plant was commissioned at Kovdorskiy, which, once fully operational in 2017, will increase Kovdorskiy’s output by 948 KMT of apatite concentrate and 130 KMT of iron ore concentrate per year. Late in the third quarter, the Group commenced intra-group shipments of ground phosphate rock from its phosphate rock mining operations in Kazakhstan with a first shipment of around 12 KMT delivered to EuroChem-Belorechenskie Minudobrenia (BMU). While we expect to increase deliveries of rock to BMU, trial runs are currently underway at some of the Group’s other phosphate fertilizer production facilities.
We invested US$ 193 million in our nitrogen operations during the first nine months of the year. In addition to investments in efficiency improvements and ammonia production, we completed the construction of a low-density ammonium nitrate (LDAN) production unit at the Group’s Novomoskovskiy Azot facility. In operation since August, the LDAN unit will have a daily capacity of 1.8 KMT once fully ramped-up.
In 2014, the Group secured its debut project finance facility for the Usolskiy potash project in Russia’s Perm region. As at 30 September 2015, the Group had utilised an aggregate amount of US$ 278 million from this US$ 750 million non-recourse facility.
Events after the reporting period
In October 2015, as part of its strategy to expand its presence in the US market, the Group completed the acquisition of 100% interest in Ben-Trei Fertilizer Company (Ben-Trei). Founded in 1987 and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ben-Trei distributes a variety of dry fertilizer and feed products, primarily via truck and rail transport, and has built a strong presence in the country’s key agricultural regions, from Texas and the Louisiana delta in the South, across the Corn Belt in the Midwest and West to California. In fiscal year 2015 Ben-Trei supplied over 1 million short tonnes of product to more than 530 customers.
Product groups and projects
Volumes and values are shown gross and inclusive of intra-group sales.
|Sales volumes including certain intra-group sales (KMT)|
|NITROGEN||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||y-o-y chng%||9M 2015||9M 2014||y-o-y chng%|
|Organic synthesis products||107||120||-11%||334||355||-6%|
|Natural gas (mcm)*||212||223||-5%||629||637||-1%|
*Sales within Nitrogen.
Our third-quarter nitrogen sales volumes amounted to 1.72 million tonnes, as compared to sales of 1.71 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2014. While good demand supported a 97 KMT increase in AN and ANF deliveries, weaker trading in urea and CAN limited the year-on-year growth to 1%. The Group sold 5.10 million tonnes of nitrogen products in the first nine months of the year, in line with last year’s January to September sales performance.
From July, deteriorating market trends applied steady pressure on product prices. Subsequently, and despite a slight uptick in third-quarter volumes, revenues for the period declined 19% year-on-year to US$ 463 million. However, the launch of additional ammonia production coupled with underlying currency shifts buoyed profitability levels at our nitrogen operations. Third-quarter nitrogen EBITDA grew 18% from US$ 200 million in 2014 to US$ 236 million in 2015, generating EBITDA margin of 51% for the third quarter of 2015. As at 30 September 2015, year-to-date EBITDA for nitrogen products stood at US$ 665 million, 5% higher than in the same period a year ago.
Additional internal raw material capacity and the devaluation of the rouble together underpinned the robust profitability of our nitrogen operations. The ramp-up of our expansion of Nevinnomysskiy Azot’s 1B ammonia unit supported a 58 KMT increase in ammonia production at the plant, bringing total ammonia production for the first nine months of the year to 2.21 MMT as compared to 2.15 MMT last year.
On a US dollar basis, our natural gas costs remained on the low end of global benchmarks. For the nine-month period ended 30 September 2015, excluding supplies from our Severneft Urengoy natural gas operator, average natural gas prices at the Group’s Novomoskovskiy Azot nitrogen facility declined to US$ 2.15/mmBtu (9M 2014: US$ 3.72/mmBtu). Average gas prices at our Nevinnomysskiy Azot facility decreased to US$ 2.41/mmBtu, 38% below their 9M 2014 average of US$ 3.92/mmBtu. For the January to September period, average natural gas prices at benchmark hubs were US$ 2.76/mmBtu in the U.S. (Henry Hub), US$ 6.73/mmBtu in the Netherlands (TTF).
 Average prices derived from monthly data points.
|Sales volumes including certain intra-group sales (KMT)|
|PHOSPHATES||Q3 2015||Q3 2014||y-o-y chng%||9M 2015||9M 2014||y-o-y chng%|
|Complex (NP, NPK)||491||413||19%||1,352||1,325||2%|
|Mineral raw materials||1,444||1,433||1%||4,212||4,166||1%|
For the three months ended 30 September 2015, the Group’s phosphates sales volumes amounted to 1.03 million tonnes, representing a 15% increase on sales of 0.90 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2014. The bulk of the increase was driven by a 78 KMT increase in sales of complex fertilizers. Sales volumes for the first nine months of the year totalled 3.07 million tonnes, which was 3% ahead of the 2.98 million tonnes sold in the same period a year ago.
Mineral raw material sales volumes reached 1.44 MMT, 1% above sales of 1.43 MMT realised in the third quarter of 2014. For the first nine months of the year, sales volumes of iron ore and baddeleyite rose 1% year-on-year to 4.21 MMT.
Third-quarter revenues of US$ 513 million were flat year-on-year as stronger volumes helped mitigate the pressure from the 41% year-on-year collapse in iron prices. By providing the Group with additional in-house raw material capacity, the ramping-up of Kovdorskiy’s new apatite-staffelite ore processing plant provided a further boost to our profitability. These additional raw material volumes coupled with positive currency movements spurred a 31% year-on-year increase in EBITDA. For the three months ended 30 September 2015, EBITDA for the Group’s phosphates products stood at US$ 164 million, as compared to US$ 126 million during the same period a year earlier. While the new ore processing plant was brought online in the second quarter of 2015, the additional 168 KMT of apatite contributed in the first nine months of the year encouraged a 29% increase in EBITDA to US$ 452 million, as compared to US$ 350 million in 9M 2014.
EuroChem is currently developing two potash deposits in Russia. The company’s projects in the Verkhnekamskoe potash deposit (Perm region) and the Gremyachinskoe deposit (Volgograd region) are a key component of EuroChem’s vertical integration strategy. The projects, which will provide in excess of eight million tonnes of annual potash capacity, are widely expected to be amongst the lowest cost potash operations globally.
As of 30 September 2015, the Group had spent an aggregate total of US$ 2.7 billion on its two potash projects in Russia.
EuroChem VolgaKaliy (Gremyachinskoe potash deposit, Volgograd region)
In line with our sinking schedule, the skip shaft #1 reached the salt layer in the third quarter. The last main shaft liner hitch and seal were put in place prior to pushing on through to the salt and potash layers.
Over the course of the third quarter, the site’s skip shaft #2 maintained an optimal average sinking speed and progressed as planned. As of early November, the skip shaft #2 was down to 752 meters below the surface collar.
At the cage shaft, the sinking rate slowed down as manageable water inflow developed with the transitioning of sinking efforts beyond the freeze wall. The VolgaKaliy crews followed mine safety protocols and fitted a concrete plug before initiating a grouting program to block the water inflow.
Clark Bailey, Managing Director of EuroChem’s Mining Division, commented “Other than the two shafts recently completed at EuroChem Usolskiy, I am not aware of any other shafts sunk without some degree of water inflow – but all these recent shafts with or without minor water ingress were all successfully completed. While the inflow in our cage shaft was not found to be significant and did not prevent us from continuing to sink the shaft, the fact that any water at all was entering initiated the installation of a bottom concrete plug. We have determined the amount of inflow, confirmed its source, and are implementing an appropriate action plan. It is relatively easy to fix, but we are taking our time to position ourselves properly to accomplish this. In no way is this currently expected to impact the project’s total timeline significantly, we have already worked an alternative plan to lower equipment to allow us to proceed with the mine development should we see any significant delay materialising”.
EuroChem Usolskiy Potash (Verkhnekamskoe potash deposit, Perm region)
The shaft sinking and equipping is completed at both the cage shaft and skip shaft #1.
At the skip shaft, we commenced the removal of the freeze collar, drilling platform and the temporary head frame foundations. The construction of the shafts’ respective hoist buildings continued to schedule with the pouring of concrete flooring.
Throughout the quarter, work continued on several surface buildings. At the site of the future mine’s beneficiation plant, the thickeners were installed and tested, while steel continued to go up. Additionally, construction crews progressed further with the installation and construction of the 220 Kv power line, product and raw ore storage buildings, administration buildings, canteen, boiler house, and the water pumping systems. A major contract award was placed with Renaissance Construction, one of the leading EPC contractors operating in Russia, to complete the remaining portion of the beneficiation mill.
Our outlook for the last quarter of the year is cautiously optimistic and is based on relatively healthy demand levels and the presence of positive signals hinting at price stabilization.
Urea’s downward trend appears to have found its floor. Barring any further currency weakening in China and assuming stable coal prices, we would not expect to see prices move lower. However, we also view limited potential for prices to increase as the ramp-up of new capacity in the Middle East coupled with the restart of previously idled capacity in Ukraine should keep nitrogen prices under pressure.
Phosphate demand levels should improve in the fourth quarter of the year on expectations of stronger trading activity. Despite potentially stronger product flows, we nevertheless remain cautious on pricing dynamics and do not exclude further pricing erosion before the year-end.
While the autumn uptick in demand for NPK products for winter crops resulted in good volumes, in particular for more advanced lines such as ENTEC-NPK products, prices have been under pressure, in–line with trends across primary nutrients, especially urea.
Potash demand remains constricted by a combination of currency and credit issues. While the recent wave of announced capacity curtailments should help stabilize prices, market activity is expected to remain subdued until the next supply agreements.
The iron ore market remains lacklustre with sentiment equally depressed, despite the start of restocking season, which is traditionally a strong period. Prices will remain under pressure as additional capacity comes to market over the next several months and announced production cuts at steel mills appear insufficient to support fading demand. Prices are expected to stabilize as they near marginal costs and adjust to their new normal.
This EuroChem publication contains forward looking statements concerning future events, these statements are based on current EuroChem information and assumptions concerning known and unknown risks and uncertainties.
Consolidated financial information for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2015 is available at: eurochem-corporate-qa1b64.azurewebsites.net
About EuroChem Group AG
EuroChem is a leading global agrochemical company producing primarily nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, as well as certain organic synthesis products and iron ore. The Group is vertically integrated with activities spanning from mining and hydrocarbons extraction to fertilizer production, logistics, and distribution. EuroChem is currently developing two sizeable potash deposits in Russia with its VolgaKaliy and Usolskiy Potash greenfield projects. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, the Group operates production facilities in Belgium, China, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, and Russia and employs more than 23,000 people globally. For more information, please visit eurochem-corporate-qa1b64.azurewebsites.net or contact:
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