News

OCI N.V. Reports Q2 2020 Results

27 August 2020

Highlights:

  • Revenues declined 8% to $875 million and adjusted EBITDA declined 20% to $220 million in Q2 2020 vs Q2 2019. Revenues increased 9% to $1.7 billion and adjusted EBITDA increased 2% to $413 million in H1 2020 vs H1 2019
  • OCI-produced volumes sold increased 6% to a record 3.3 million metric tons in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019
  • OCI also delivered record own-produced volumes of 6.0 million tons in H1 2020, up 26% compared to H1 2019. On a like-for-like basis, excluding Fertil, H1 2020 volumes improved 7% year-on-year
  • Adjusted net loss of $20 million in Q2 2020 compared to adjusted net income of $37 million in Q2 2019
  • Free cash flow of $191 million before growth capex during the quarter
  • Net debt $3.84 billion as of 30 June 2020, a reduction of $222 million compared to 31 December 2019
  • Fertiglobe has successfully negotiated final terms with lenders for a $385 million refinancing package1), which will crystallise interest savings of c.$9 million per annum
  • OCI maintains a policy of not producing solid ammonium nitrate (AN), and has not done so since shutting down production of AN in 2008. With ever-increasing safety concerns surrounding AN, the product could be substituted by urea or other nitrates going forward
  • Heike van de Kerkhof is nominated to OCI’s Board of Directors, bringing 30 years’ experience in the chemicals industry and a strong track record in sustainability
  • COVID-19 has not caused any direct disruption to production or distribution to date
  • Selling prices for urea and methanol have rebounded significantly since reaching trough levels during the second quarter, and the outlook for our end markets has recently improved

Statement from the Chief Executive Officer – Ahmed El-Hoshy:

“We delivered resilient results supported by record volumes, despite selling prices reaching trough cycle levels during the quarter. This quarter our volumes increased 6% from the previous record second quarter last year. First half own-produced volumes increased 26% year over year, exceeding 6 million tons for the first time. Notwithstanding the low prices and the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the pandemic, we reduced net debt by $222 million so far this year.

These results were achieved with an excellent safety record: the 12-month rolling recordable incident rate at the end of June was 0.23 incidents per 200,000 manhours, one of the lowest in our global industry. Operational excellence remains one of our main focus points going forward.

The outlook for our end markets has become more positive in recent months and, given our low-cost position, OCI is well-positioned to benefit disproportionately vis-à-vis peers in this environment of improving selling prices.

Global nitrogen fertilizer markets are looking positive for the remainder of this year and into 2021 on the back of healthy farm fundamentals, supported by strong demand from major importing countries, in particular India and Brazil, a recent strengthening of the outlook for the US, and increases in global corn demand. Urea prices have rebounded more than 30% since reaching a trough in the second quarter, but ammonia prices have lagged as a result of weak industrial demand. However, we have already seen a significant pick-up in diesel exhaust fluid sales in the US in July and August to record monthly levels, and have started to see recovery in demand of industrial ammonia and melamine.

The outlook for our methanol end markets has also strengthened. Spot methanol prices have rebounded more than 50% since reaching trough levels towards the end of the second quarter. Demand from Methanol-to Olefins (MTO) plants in China has been rising and utilization rates now exceed 85% on the back of healthy economics. High inventories in the system are being cleared and high-cost methanol capacity has been shutting down. Global downstream demand continues to recuperate steadily, as fuel consumption is returning and a pick-up in construction and other industrial activity is driving increased demand for derivatives such as formaldehyde.

Our priority remains to optimize free cash flow generation and we remain committed to our financial policy to deleverage towards 2x through the cycle. We demonstrated healthy free cash flow conversion in the first half of this year despite the difficult macro environment, but timing to achieve our targets remains dependent on selling prices, as we continue to focus on operational and commercial excellence and volume growth.

We maintain our forecast that we are on track to deliver robust volume growth in 2020. As we reach our run-rate production, we expect to benefit from a further step-up in volumes in 2021 compared to 2020. We expect this particularly in methanol, where we have finalized major turnarounds at OCI Beaumont in February and in the Netherlands in June.

In addition, we continue to optimize our capital structure to identify further cost-effective refinancing opportunities as demonstrated by a $385 million refinancing at Fertiglobe. We are ahead of plan in generating commercial synergies at Fertiglobe, and we will now also achieve significant interest savings for the group. This debut financing for Fertiglobe will reset the capital structure and centralise some of the operating company debt at the Fertiglobe holding level. We are pleased that the facility has attracted strong interest from the capital markets and will achieve a low interest rate, reflecting the leading competitive position of Fertiglobe and its healthy balance sheet.“

Outlook

Nitrogen

  • The outlook for nitrogen fertilizers for the remainder of the year and into 2021 is looking considerably more favourable than a few months ago:
    • Demand in several importing countries is expected to remain healthy, including South Asia, Latin America, East Africa and Australia
    • The outlook for the US has strengthened recently as the downward revision of corn acreage by the USDA has reduced expected corn stocks and the outlook for corn demand has strengthened as ethanol markets recover. In addition, global demand for corn has increased driven by purchases from China
    • We are anticipating a favourable fall application season in the US given the rapid pace of planting this spring and the maturity of the current corn crops, allowing for a potentially extended application window before winter
    • Following a record quarter for our calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) volumes in Q2, our order book in Europe is looking healthy. Going forward, we expect nitrate prices to be supported by healthy demand and room to catch up with increases in urea prices
    • Higher domestic urea prices and demand in China, combined with temporary capacity shutdowns due to COVID-19 in China during the first half of 2020 limited the amount of urea available for export; full year Chinese exports are expected to be lower than in 2019
  • Industrial nitrogen markets have been weak in Q2 2020 as a result of GDP/industrial activity slowdown, but are showing signs of recovery:
    • Global ammonia prices have lagged urea as a result of weak industrial demand, but should benefit from a recovery in industrial markets, with further support from curtailment of high-cost capacity and the recent increase in natural gas prices
    • The fuel ethanol market in the US is recovering from trough conditions
    • Demand for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) in the US has also increased significantly recently with the rebound of road traffic, and IFCo is reaching record shipments at increasing pace in Q3 so far
    • Melamine demand in our core European markets is improving

 

Methanol

  • US methanol spot prices have rebounded c.50% since reaching a bottom below $150 / ton in June
  • Rising utilization rates of MTO plants in China on the back of healthy MTO economics versus naphtha crackers have been a key driver of a rebound in methanol demand
  • The outlook for downstream demand has also improved, with fuel consumption picking up following the easing of lockdowns, and a gradual return of global industrial and construction activity; in the US and Europe we have seen month-to-month improvements in demand from the lows reached in the spring
  • The idling of high cost methanol production capacity by competitors also helped tighten supply / demand balances in 2020 and supported pricing
  • OCI is one of the lowest cost producers globally, and expected to benefit from the ramp-up of our methanol capacity as well as the normalization of production and improved onstream efficiency

 

Gas Markets

We expect to remain at the low end of the global cost curve. In addition, the recent increase in gas prices supports selling prices and benefits OCI as one of the lowest-cost and most efficient producers globally.

 

 

A conference call for investors and analysts will be hosted on Thursday 27th August 2020 at 4:00 PM CET (3:00 PM GMT, 10:00 AM ET) by Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer and Hassan Badrawi, Chief Financial Officer.

Investors can access the call by dialing:

Standard International:                +44 (0) 20 3009 5710
United Kingdom FreeCall:           0800 376 7425
Netherlands LocalCall:                +31 (0) 20 715 7366
United States FreeCall:               1 (866) 869 2321

Conference ID:                           7283247

A conference call replay will be available until 27th September 2020. The replay access numbers are:

Standard International:                +44 (0) 333 300 9785
Netherlands:                                 +31 (0) 20 713 2967
United States:                              1 (866) 331-1332

Conference ID:                           7283247