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PhosAgro PJSC (PHOR)
PhosAgro Reports 3Q and 9M 2021 Financial Results
With Record Quarterly EBITDA of Over RUB 57 Billion
Moscow - PhosAgro ("the Company") (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, today announces its consolidated IFRS financial results for the third quarter (3Q) and nine months (9M) ended 30 September 2021.
Highlights for 3Q and 9M 2021:
Revenue for 3Q 2021 increased by 63.8% year-on-year to RUB 116.3 billion (USD 1.6 billion) on the back of strong seasonal demand for fertilizers.
Revenue for 9M 2021 increased by 50.0% year-on-year and amounted to RUB 292.6 billion (USD 4.0 billion). This growth was mainly due to the recovery in global prices for fertilizers during the year, due to high affordability for end consumers and low inventory levels in key markets.
In 3Q 2021, the Company's EBITDA more than doubled year-on-year and reached RUB 57.2 billion (USD 779 million). Upgrades to production assets, improved efficiency for key production facilities, and growing self-sufficiency in key feedstocks enabled the Company to achieve an EBITDA margin for the quarter of 49.2%.
EBITDA for 9M 2021 increased by 92.2% year-on-year to RUB 130.3 billion (USD 1.8 billion). EBITDA margin for 9M 2021 rose to 44.5%.
Capital expenditure for 9M 2021 amounted to RUB 31.7 billion, an increase of 15.8% year-on-year. This growth was driven by investments for the final stage of construction of a modern production complex at the Volkhov site, in line with the Company's long-term development strategy.
In 3Q 2021, free cash flow increased by 6.9% year-on-year and amounted to RUB 20.7 billion (USD 283 million).
Free cash flow reached RUB 55.0 billion (USD 742 million) for 9M 2021, an increase of 38.5% year-on-year.
In 3Q and 9M 2021, adjusted net profit** more than doubled year-on-year, amounting to RUB 39.7 billion (USD 541 million) and RUB 85.1 billion (USD 1.2 billion), respectively.
Net debt as of 30 September 2021 decreased by RUB 33.6 billion compared to the end of 2020, amounting to RUB 123.3 billion (USD 1.7 billion). The net debt/EBITDA ratio decreased to 0.83x at the end of 3Q 2021.
Financial and operational highlights
RUB/USD rates: average 3Q 2021 rate: 73.5; average 3Q 2020 rate: 73.6; as of 30 September 2021: 72.8; as of 31 December 2020: 73.9.
* EBITDA is calculated as operating profit adjusted for depreciation and amortisation.
** Net profit as reported minus FX gain or loss from financial activity.
Commenting on the Company's financial results, PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev said:
"First, I would like to share a very important milestone for us: in the third quarter of 2021, PhosAgro became the first company in Russia to receive a certificate for compliance with the requirements of the national standard for higher quality products. PhosAgro's Cherepovets, Volkhov, and Balakovo production sites were all certified. This means that all of the production output from our mineral fertilizer production facilities has been certified for compliance with the Russian national standard, which introduces the world's toughest restrictions on heavy metals and arsenic contents. This confirms the unique eco-efficiency of PhosAgro products, and we will now be able to label with the national standard. PhosAgro is also able to use a green label on fertilizers it sells in the EU, in line with strict European Commission guidelines regarding cadmium contents in phosphate-based fertilizers.
"PhosAgro also continues to ramp up fertilizer production at its production sites. We are currently nearing completion of a state-of-the-art production complex at our Volkhov site with a capacity of up to one million tonnes of eco-efficient fertilizers.
"I am also pleased to report another one of PhosAgro's successes in the capital markets: we successfully closed a USD 500 million seven-year bond issue with a coupon of 2.6% per annum. This is a record low coupon among all Russian corporate US dollar issues with a comparable maturity, which will enable PhosAgro to reduce the overall cost of its debt portfolio.
"Turning to PhosAgro's 9M 2021 financial performance, I would note that we have again set several records. Upgrades to production assets, improved production efficiency overall and growing self-sufficiency in key feedstocks enabled the Company to increase its phosphoric acid output and further increase fertilizer production by 5% year-on-year, meaning we were able to grow production of the highest-margin fertilizer grades MAP/DAP and NPK by 9% and 7% year-on-year, respectively.
"Favourable conditions in global markets for agricultural products and fertilizers in the third quarter contributed to robust cash flow generation of higher profitability. Revenue for the quarter exceeded RUB 116 billion, increasing by more than 50%, while EBITDA more than doubled and amounted to RUB 57.2 billion, a record for the entire public history of the company.
"The higher profit levels that the Company has achieved so far in 2021 have resulted in an increase in tax payments at all levels. Compared to the same period last year, tax payments exceeded RUB 28 billion, with more than a 3-fold increase to regional budgets and an almost 6-fold increase to the federal budget. We are confident that these revenues will contribute to the development of the social sphere in all regions where we operate.
"Our highly efficient business, flexible capex volumes and effective management of working capital meant that the Company was able to generate free cash flow of more than RUB 20 billion in the third quarter.
"The high profitability of sales helped to bring net debt at the end of the quarter down to RUB 123 billion, while the net debt/EBITDA ratio decreased to 0.83x, which corresponds with PhosAgro's long-term goal of maintaining comfortable debt levels.
"To summarize the above, I would like to reiterate that the Company's strong operating and financial performance, low debt levels and balanced long-term development programme ensure strong free cash flow generation, financing of its investment and social projects and a fair distribution of profits between the company and its shareholders."
3Q 2021 market conditions
Prices for phosphate-based fertilizers once again renewed multiyear highs in early 3Q 2021, rising to USD 700-720 per tonne (FOB Baltic) for MAP, thanks to continued high prices for agricultural products and developing seasonal demand in Brazil. Despite a subsequent correction in global prices for grains and oilseeds, growing exports from China and relatively low import demand for fertilizers in India, global prices for phosphate-based fertilizers remained high. Cutbacks in production and exports in the United States at the end of the quarter, as well as the threat of export restrictions in China helped prices to stabilise and resume an upward trend. The average price for MAP in 3Q 2021 was USD 695 per tonne (FOB Baltic) against USD 617 per tonne (FOB Baltic) in 2Q 2021. Contract prices for phosphoric acid supplies to India in 3Q 2021 were agreed at USD 1,160 per tonne of 100% P2O5 (CFR India), which was USD 162 per tonne higher than in 2Q 2021, in line with changes in the phosphate-based fertilizer market. Phosphate feedstock prices (68%-72% BPL) in 3Q 2021 were set at USD 130-190 per tonne (FOB Morocco) compared to USD 85-155 per tonne (FOB Morocco) in 2Q 2021. World sulphur prices remained relatively stable at previously high levels of USD 180 per tonne (FOB Black Sea/Baltic).
Prices for nitrogen-based fertilizers rose on the back of seasonal demand in key markets in Latin America and especially in Brazil, as well as India and other Asian countries. The threat of export restrictions from China has also helped to keep prices high. Average prices for urea in 3Q 2021 reached USD 442 per tonne (FOB Baltic) against USD 359 per tonne (FOB Baltic) in 2Q 2021.
Global prices for commercial ammonia continued to rise due to a recovery in industrial demand and continued limited exports from large producers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the United States due to unscheduled maintenance. The average price for commercial ammonia in 3Q 2021 was USD 578 per tonne (FOB Black Sea), which is USD 114 or 25% higher than the average price in 2Q 2021.
In PhosAgro's priority domestic market, the season of phosphate-based fertilizer application for field work has ended. At present, there is increased demand for ammonium nitrate. Therefore, Russian producers have voluntarily prolonged the price freeze on mineral fertilizers until 31 December 2021 and, as a priority, are meeting increased domestic demand for nitrogen fertilizers. This measure will stimulate preparation for seasonal field work and will strengthen the sustainability of Russian agriculture, fulfilment of harvest plans, saturation of domestic market with domestically grown food with improved characteristics and the export of agricultural products.
3Q 2021 financial performance
In 3Q 2021, the Company's revenue increased by 63.8% year-on-year to RUB 116.3 billion (USD 1.6 billion). The main growth driver was the rise in global prices for phosphate- and nitrogen-based fertilizers against the backdrop of high demand and low inventory levels in the main sales markets.
EBITDA for 3Q 2021 more than doubled year-on-year and amounted to a record RUB 57.2 billion (USD 779 million). Such significant growth was achieved in part thanks to successful measures aimed at increasing productivity and self-sufficiency in key inputs. EBITDA margin for 3Q 2021 exceeded 49%.
Net profit adjusted for non-cash FX gain/loss for 3Q 2021 more than doubled year-on-year to RUB 39.7 billion (USD 541 million).
In 3Q 2021, the Company's free cash flow amounted to RUB 20.7 billion (USD 283 million). The main source of cash flow was an increase the production of all types of mineral fertilizers, higher income from sales due to higher average prices and an improvement in the finished product portfolio structure.
Capex in 3Q 2021 amounted to RUB 10.6 billion (USD 144 million). The Company's investments were primarily focussed on the construction of a large industrial complex at its Volkhov site, where the first production lines have already been launched with a design capacity of almost 800,000 tonnes of MAP per year. Once the project is complete, the total capacity of the new complex will reach almost 900,000 tonnes.
As of 30 September 2021, the net debt/EBITDA ratio was 0.83x. PhosAgro was able to decrease its debt burden thanks to higher profits and effective cost controls. Net debt as of 30 September 2021 was RUB 123.3 billion (USD 1.7 billion).
Cost of sales in 9M 2021 increased by 21.4% year-on-year largely due to a considerable increase in prices for raw materials.
Cash cost of production in 3Q 2021 increased by 29.3% year-on-year, which was associated with an increase in prices for raw materials, fuel, materials, and services:
Administrative, selling and marketing expenses in 3Q 2021 increased by 22.2% year-on-year to RUB 5.1 billion (USD 68 million) and by 8.7% to RUB 1.5 billion (USD 21 million), respectively. The main drivers of this increase were changes in payroll and social contributions associated with the adjustment of employee salaries, compensation payments and changes in exchange rates.
In early 4Q 2021, global fertilizer markets saw further price increases due to the unprecedented rise in natural gas prices in Europe and Asia and a subsequent decline in fertilizer production, as well as due to export restrictions from China in favour of domestic supplies. Prices on global markets have renewed multiyear highs and continue to rise, especially for nitrogen-based fertilizers amid approaching seasonal demand in key markets in North America, Europe and China.
Conference call and webcast:
PhosAgro will hold a conference call and webcast today at 14:00 London time (17:00 Moscow; 09:00 New York).
The call will be held in English, with simultaneous translation into Russian on a separate line.
Participant dial-in numbers:
+7 495 213 1767
+44 (0) 330 336 9127
Conference ID numbers:
In English: 5329184
In Russian: 7839516
Andrey Serov, Head of the Investor Relations Department
+7 495 231 2747 ext. ext. 2183
Timur Belov, Press Officer
+7 495 231 2747 ext. 2652
+44 207 002 7859
PhosAgro (www.phosagro.com) is one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers in terms of production volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39% and higher. PhosAgro's environmentally friendly fertilizers stand out for their high efficiency, and they do not lead to the contamination of soils with heavy metals.
The Company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, a top-three producer of MAP/DAP globally, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate (according to the RAFP).
PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, more than 50 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 102 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia.
PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and global depositary receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes.
2.2. Inside information
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