• Revenue decreased to 19.4 bln RUB, compared to 20.8 bln RUB in January-March 2013.
• Operating profit amounted to 5.3 bln RUB, compared with 6.7 bln RUB in January-March 2013.
• Adjusted EBITDA comprised 6.2 bln RUB, compared to 7.6 bln RUB in January-March 2013.
• Adjusted EBITDA margin amounted to 32%, compared to 37% in January-March 2013.
URALCHEM, OJSC (hereinafter URALCHEM or the Company), the Russian holding company of the URALCHEM Group, one of the largest producers of nitrogen fertilizers in Russia, announced its IFRS financial results for the first quarter of 2014.
Revenue for the first quarter of 2014 decreased by 7% to 19.4 bln RUB, compared to 20.8 bln RUB in January - March, 2013. Operating profit amounted to 5.3 bln RUB (23% of revenue) compared with the operating profit of 6.7 bln RUB (32% of revenue) in the first quarter of 2013.
Adjusted EBITDA comprised 6.2 bln RUB, compared to 7.6 bln RUB, a decrease of 18%. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the first quarter of 2014 amounted to 32% of revenue, compared with 37% of revenue for the first quarter of 2013.
The negative net profit is the result of so-called paper losses. The bulk of the company's debt is denominated in dollars, and following the sharp rise in the foreign exchange rate in the first quarter of 2014, the company has recognized a foreign exchange loss from financing activities to the amount of 13.56 billion roubles in the reporting period. Of this amount, 13 billion roubles is the exchange difference on the loans, on which there have been no real cash flows. Sharp fluctuations in exchange rates have a significant effect on the net income indicator. For example, movement of the dollar exchange rate in the opposite direction in April and May provided for positive exchange rate differences on the same loans to the total of about 6.5 billion roubles.
In addition, the financial result from operations includes foreign exchange loss in the amount of 957 million roubles arising on intercompany liability, while the corresponding gain is reflected directly in the statement of changes in equity. If these exchange differences were netted off, EBITDA could reach 7.15 billion roubles and its margin would be 37%.
Thus, against the background of declining global prices for major fertilizers, in the first quarter of 2014, URALCHEM showed the sustainability of its business model. Whilst its financial performance was lower in absolute terms, the company has maintained high margins (profitability) and continued to generate a stable positive cash flow. In response to market trends, the company has increased production and sales of key products, ammonium nitrate and its derivatives, as well as continued its efforts to improve the efficiency of business processes, to increase productivity and profitability and to reduce operating costs.
The first quarter is traditionally a period of significant market activity and prices are being supported by strong demand in premium markets, the US and Europe. However, despite the rise in prices in the first half of the quarter, the average values of quotes were lower than in the first quarter of 2013. In the second and third quarters of 2014 the market expects oversupply associated with the start of Chinese exports. The main demand during the period is expected from South Asia and Latin America, ie regions in which the price is traditionally low. The volume of demand is assessed as insufficient to absorb all available supplies from China and the Middle East. As a result of the oversupply, price cuts will inevitably lead to a halt in production in regions with high costs, including Europe and the CIS.
In January, the activity in ammonia markets stayed low. Quotes based on FOB Yuzhnyi Port remained around 410 to 430 dollars/tonne. In February, prices for ammonia in the ports of the CIS began to rise, which continued until the end of the quarter. Gazprom's announcement about cancellation of discounts on natural gas prices increased interest in purchasing in the Yuzhnyi Port; the lack of available supplies in Trinidad heightened interest of US importers in purchasing in the CIS. The main growth in demand was due to the start of direct application of ammonia and increased requirements for raw materials from producers of phosphate fertilizers. In March, prices reached 474 dollars/tonne. However, in general, for the quarter the prices amounted to 438 dollars/tonne, which is 22.2 % lower than a year before.
The greatest activity for urea during the quarter was shown in US, Europe and Brazil. The US entered the purchasing season with low stocks. In January, prices in the US rose by 21% and the rapid rise in prices in the United States resulted in an increase in prices in the major sources of shipment: in the Port of Yuzhnyi by 15%, in Egypt also by 15%, in the Middle East by 16%. Prices were also supported by a lack of free product in North Africa and the Middle East. However, beginning with the last week of January, the market trend changed. The devaluation of the Turkish lira and the Brazilian real impeded imports from these countries and by the end of the quarter, prices returned to January levels. The average quotes for urea FOB Baltics in March totalled 314 dollars/tonne. The average urea price for the quarter was $330/tonne, which is 14.3 % lower than a year before.
January and February marked steady growth of quotations for ammonium nitrate caused by deficiency of the product available for export, due to the supply to the Russian domestic market. FOB Baltics quotes grew from $300/tonne up to $320/tonne. But from the beginning of March there was change in the trend due to lower domestic demand. In general, during the first quarter of 2014 quotes amounted to $308/tonne, which is 8.6% lower than a year before.
In the segment of phosphate fertilizers (MAP/DAP) average quotations (FOB Black Sea) for the first quarter of 2014 amounted to $469 dollars/tonne, which is 6% lower than a year before. Since mid-March, demand in this segment declined markedly; importers, relying on high inventories, put off new purchases in anticipation of more lucrative offers. In the second quarter, market participants expect lower prices.
Cash generated from operating activities in the first quarter of 2014 amounted to 5.6 bln RUB, compared to 5.06 bln RUB in the first quarter of 2013.
As at 31 March 2014, the Company's net debt amounted to 163.11 bln RUB. The debt burden increased after the Company received a loan from VTB Capital to finance the purchase of 19.99% of shares in OJSC "Uralkali", which as at 31 March 2014 amounted to 146,01 bln RUB
For more information, please visit the Company web site http://www.uralchem.com
or use the following contact information:
Public Relations Department
Tel: +7 (495) 721 89 89
URALCHEM, OJSC is one of the largest producers of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers in Russia and the CIS with production capacities of over 2.8 million tonnes of ammonia, 2.5 million tonnes of ammonium nitrate, 1.2 million tonnes of urea and 0.8 million tonnes of phosphate and compound fertilizers per year. URALCHEM, OJSC ranks first in Russia for production of ammonia and ammonium nitrate, and second for the production of urea. Key production assets of URALCHEM, OJSC include Azot Branch of URALCHEM, OJSC in Berezniki, Perm Region; OJSC Minudobrenia, Perm; MFP Kirovo-Chepetsk Chemical Works, OJSC Branch in Kirovo-Chepetsk, Kirov region; Voskresensk Mineral Fertilisers, OJSC in Voskresensk, Moscow region.