Business news from Ukraine

IMC Agro Holding reduced net loss by 7% and increased EBITDA by 3.2 times

In January-March 2024, IMC Agro Holding posted a net loss of $3.81 million compared to $4.10 million in the same period of 2023, while its EBITDA increased 3.2 times to $4.43 million, according to the company’s report on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

“The increase in normalized EBITDA in the first quarter of 2024, as well as the decrease in net loss for the period, was due to an increase in sales,” the company said.

According to the report, the holding’s revenue increased by 41% to $59.20 mln, while the share of exports decreased to 71.7% from 83.5% a year earlier.

The share of corn in the revenue decreased to 42.8% from 83.3%, while the share of wheat increased to 34.4% from 15.9%, and sunflower seeds to 22.3% from 0.3%.

IMC’s gross profit increased by 48% to $12.75 mln, and its operating loss decreased to $0.17 mln from $2.85 mln in the first quarter of 2023.

At the same time, due to the devaluation of the hryvnia in the first quarter of this year compared to its fixed exchange rate for the year, the company incurred a foreign exchange loss of $4.10 million, which resulted in the total loss of IMC for the reporting year increasing to $7.86 million from $4.08 million a year earlier.

Overall, the agroholding’s assets increased by 0.6% to $314.14 mln in the first quarter of 2024.

At the same time, the company increased its investments in the reporting period to $4.9 mln, while in the first quarter of last year there were practically none ($0.02 mln), while the outflow from financing activities decreased to $0.9 mln from $6.4 mln, and the inflow from operating activities amounted to $16.4 mln against an outflow of $1.9 mln in the same period last year.

As a result, free cash flows at the end of March increased to $26.0 million from $16.20 million at the beginning of the year, while bank debt remained virtually unchanged at $45.9 million.

“IMC is an integrated group of companies operating in Sumy, Poltava and Chernihiv regions (north and center of Ukraine) in the crop production, elevators and warehouses segments. The land bank is about 120 thousand hectares, storage capacity is 554 thousand tons with a harvest of 1.002 million tons in 2023.

In 2023, IMC posted a net loss of $21.03 million compared to $1.12 million a year earlier, and its EBITDA decreased 11.3 times to $3.22 million. The holding’s revenue increased by 22.3% to $139.45 million, while the share of exports decreased to 68% from 73% a year earlier.

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ArcelorMittal increases EBITDA to $2 bln

ArcelorMittal increased EBITDA by 35% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023 to $1.96 billion, the company said in a statement.

The main increase in EBITDA was driven by improved performance of assets in North America, Brazil, Europe and India.

Operating profit in the last quarter amounted to $1 billion compared to a loss of $1.98 billion in the previous period.

Net profit in January-March amounted to $938 million, compared to a loss of almost $3 billion a quarter earlier.

Revenue increased by 12% last quarter compared to the fourth quarter, amounting to $16.28 billion.

ArcelorMittal’s capex in working capital amounted to $1.7 billion in January-March. The capex target for this year is $4.5-5 billion.

In the first quarter, the company increased steel production by 5% quarter-on-quarter to 14.4 million tons. Last quarter, metal shipments increased by 1.5% to 13.5 million tons. The company’s iron ore production increased by 4.8% to 6.5 million tons in the quarter.

According to ArcelorMittal’s forecasts, global steel consumption, excluding China, will increase by 3-4% in 2024. At the same time, demand in the US will increase by 1.5-3.5%, in Europe by 2-4%, in Brazil by 0.5-2.5%, and in India by 6.5-8.5%.


“Kyivstar” increased EBITDA by 11.6% and revenue by 16.8%

Ukraine’s largest mobile operator Kyivstar increased its UAH revenue by 16.8% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022 – to UAH 8.609 billion (in dollars it decreased by 6.5% – to $235 million), according to the report of its parent company VEON on Thursday.

According to it, Kyivstar’s EBITDA profit in hryvnia increased by 11.6% to UAH 5.085 billion (down 10.7% to $139 million in dollars) compared to the same period last year, while its EBITDA margin decreased by 2.9 percentage points (p.p.) to 59%.

“Despite the challenging operating environment, Kyivstar’s revenue and EBITDA growth accelerated in the reporting quarter. “Kyivstar and VEON have committed $600 mln over the next three years, investing in rebuilding Ukrainian infrastructure through communication and digital services,” the report says.

It is specified that revenues from mobile services grew by 17.1% y-o-y to UAH 8.066 billion thanks to the growth of data consumption by 25.6% to 9.9 GB per user per month, (in money the growth amounted to 17.6% to UAH 4.679 billion) compared to the same period last year and the increase in roaming.

As for EBITDA, VEON notes the impact of a 33% YoY increase in electricity tariffs, UAH 92 mln of charitable donations, and staff and customer support programs in the second quarter of 2023. As a result, these operating expenses reduced the company’s EBITDA margin by 2.7 p.p. – to 59.1%.

It is pointed out that the number of Kyivstar 4G users reached 13.1 million (+13.5% year-on-year) and now accounts for 54.3% of the total subscriber base (+7.7 p.p. year-on-year).

“The growth in the number of 4G users combined with new value propositions ensured a 22.6% increase in ARPU – to UAH 110.2 – year-on-year,” the report said.

At the same time, Kyivstar’s overall mobile subscriber base decreased by 2.6% year-on-year to 24.1 million, as it continued to be affected by the number of Ukrainians living outside of Ukraine.

It is noted that Kyivstar supported access to key services, including digital health, information and entertainment services. The number of Kyivstar’s multi-user subscribers increased by +37.8% year-on-year, while multi-user revenues grew by 51.7% year-on-year.

According to the report, Kyivstar-controlled Helsi Ukraine, the country’s largest digital health platform, increased the number of registered users to 25.4 million patients, up from more than 25 million a quarter earlier.

The number of downloads of the Helsi mobile application increased by 0.4 million to 5.4 million in the second quarter, while the number of medical appointment bookings through the platform remained at around 1.8 million for the quarter.

It is indicated that Kyivstar TV’s streaming service ended the quarter with nearly 1.1 million users, representing a +35.0% year-on-year growth. In Q2 2023, 2,500 Kyivstar TV customers enjoyed the recently introduced ‘Kids Profile’, a special portfolio of content for children, while around 11,600 customers enjoyed educational content available on the platform for free.

However, overall, the number of fixed-line customers decreased by 4.5% to 1.1 million over the year, while revenue growth in the sector amounted to 7.5% to UAH 483 million.

It is noted that in accordance with the strategy “4G everywhere” in the second quarter of 2023, Kyivstar connected 80 more settlements to its 4G network, added about 270 new 4G base stations and upgraded almost 1,600 more base stations to 4G standard. Capital expenditures increased by 35.1% year-on-year to UAH 1.395 billion. As of the end of June, the Kyivstar team was maintaining almost 94% of the radio network.

According to the report, in total for the first half of 2023, Kyivstar’s revenue in UAH increased by 11.2% to UAH 16.956 billion, EBITDA by 6.2% to UAH 10.006 billion, and capital investments by 28.6% to UAH 2.176 billion.

Including in the mobile segment, revenue growth amounted to 11.7%, to UAH 15.897 billion (of which data transmission – by 10.2%, to UAH 9.15 billion), while in fixed-line communications – only 1.5%, to UAH 946 million.

“Kyivstar is Ukraine’s largest telecommunications operator. It provides communication and data transmission services based on a wide range of mobile and fixed technologies.

Overall, VEON’s revenue in Q2 decreased by 4.3% y-o-y to $916 mln, while EBITDA fell by 10.6% to $415 mln.


“Ukrtelecom” gained EBITDA profit of over UAH 700 mln

“Ukrtelecom, Ukraine’s largest fixed-line operator, posted an EBITDA profit of more than UAH 700 million in January-June 2023, while its EBITDA margin rose to 27.8%, the company said on Friday.

“Even in the difficult conditions of operating during a full-scale war, Ukrtelecom demonstrates a stable high level of operational efficiency… Based on its results in the first half of the year, Ukrtelecom generated total revenue of more than UAH 2.5 billion,” the telecom operator said in a press release.

A full quarterly report is not yet available, but for the first half of 2022 Ukrtelecom reported an EBITDA margin of 24.3%, which, given the reported total revenue of UAH 2.9 billion, allows the company to estimate EBITDA for that period at UAH 705 million and talk about maintaining this figure in the first half of 2023, despite a decline in total revenue by about 14%.

In the first half of pre-war 2021, the company generated UAH 3.4 billion in total revenue (up 10%), its EBITDA amounted to UAH 1.1 billion (+29%), and its EBITDA margin was 31.3% (+4.5 percentage points).

The press release notes that Ukrtelecom continues to operate, providing access to Internet services at 88% of the number of settlements covered by the operator’s network prior to the full-scale Russian invasion. At the same time, the number of optical Internet subscribers increased by 10% year-on-year to 320,000.

“In the conditions of martial law, the company continues to meet the demand for optical internet connection, accordingly the subscriber base of users connected via optics is increasing,” it said.

In 2023, Ukrtelecom has already built 2.023 thousand km of fiber-optic lines. 80 medical and 82 educational institutions and almost 20 business objects are connected to high-speed optical Internet. In general, as of the beginning of July, more than 1.7 thousand educational and 1.28 thousand medical institutions, as well as 550 territorial communities have fiber optics from Ukrtelecom.

“Despite the difficult economic conditions, Ukrtelecom continues to effectively dispose of the property that is released due to the modernization of technological infrastructure,” the company stressed.

Revenues for the first half of the year from commercial lease of property amounted to UAH 230 million, the statement said.

According to preliminary data, the direct losses of the company from the buildings destroyed in the occupation troops of the Russian Federation, lost equipment, telecom networks and other assets in the temporarily occupied territories amount to about 700 million UAH, and in general, the total devastating consequences of Russian aggression for “Ukrtelecom” are estimated at 2.8 billion UAH, which is mainly due to the economic depreciation of operating assets.

“During the full-scale war, the company lost a number of real estate in temporarily occupied settlements, quite a few buildings are damaged and destroyed by the enemy,” Ukrtelecom pointed out.

The company also reports on reorganization, within the framework of which, in order to increase the efficiency of telecom business, generation of new opportunities for its development, as well as consolidation of responsibility for telecom revenues, a commercial directorate was created, which united the directions of development of corporate and mass segments and inter-operator telecom business.

“The company is implementing new important projects and decisions regarding business improvement and development… The reorganization will unify and increase the efficiency of business processes, introduce new interesting products, as well as methods of sales organization and customer service,” the release said.

It is also said that Ukrtelecom fulfills its obligations to the state, having paid over UAH 750 mln of taxes to budgets of all levels in January-June 2023.

In addition, the company implemented another project on large-scale assistance to the AFU – more than 20 units of the Defense Forces were provided with almost 2.5 thousand special hardware and software. During the full-scale war, the company sent dozens of UAVs, including Valkyrie and Leleka unmanned aerial systems, to the defenders as part of the Steel Front initiative of businessman Rinat Akhmetov. About 65 million hryvnias of financial aid has already been directed to the needs of the defenders, more than 230 cars from the corporate fleet have been handed over.

More than 370 employees of Ukrtelecom are defending the Ukrainian soil in the ranks of the AFU.

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ArcelorMittal increased EBITDA by 44%, to $2.6 bln

ArcelorMittal increased its EBITDA by 44% in Q2 2023 compared to Q1, to $2.6 bln, the company said in a statement.

The steelmaker points to improving market conditions as well as positive effects from M&A deals (the acquisition of Pecem in Brazil and the consolidation of ArcelorMittal Texas HBI). For the six months, EBITDA rose to $4.4 billion from $3.9 billion a year earlier.

Operating profit last quarter was up 62% on Q1, to $1.9 billion. January-June operating profit was $3.1 billion, compared with $8.9 in the first six months of 2022.

Net income in the April-June period was $1.86 billion (up 70%), down 63% to $2.96 billion for the first half of the year.

Revenue increased last quarter by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter to $18.6 bln. In January-June, ArcelorMittal’s revenue fell by 16% to $37.1 bln largely due to lower metal shipments and a 14.7% drop in average realized price.

ArcelorMittal’s April-June capex totaled $1.06 billion ($938 million quarter earlier), with a 2023 capex guidance of $4.5-5 billion.

In the second quarter, the company increased steel output by 1.4% quarter-on-quarter to 14.7 million tons; for the half-year, it decreased by 5.5% to 29.2 million tons.

Metal shipments fell 2% to 14.2 million tons last quarter, down 3.4% (to 28.7 million tons) in January-June.

The company’s production of yellow ore for the quarter fell 4.5% to 6.4 million tons, with 13.1 million tons produced in the six months compared to 14.2 million tons of yellow ore a year earlier.


“Interpipe” grew EBITDA by 5.2 times – to $79 mln

The international vertically integrated pipe and wheel company Interpipe in January-March this year increased EBITDA by 5.2 times compared to the same period last year – up to $79 million, but reduced revenues from sales by 4% – to $229 million.
According to the first quarter press-release of the company, steel output went up 13% to 184 thsd mt, pipes output increased 12% to 105 thsd mt but railroad products output decreased 13% to 20 thsd mt. In this case, the sales of products decreased by 23% to 108 thousand tons, including pipes – by 20% to 82 thousand tons, railway products – by 27% to 19 thousand tons, steel billets – by 50% to 6 thousand tons.
Net leverage ratio strengthened to 0.7x.
The press-release notes that at the beginning of 2023, production at all Interpipe enterprises was negatively affected by tight limits on electricity consumption by industrial consumers. However, already in March the situation improved due to the removal of these restrictions. As a result, and due to the effect of low comparison base due to last year’s downtime, steel output increased by 13% and tubes – by 12%.
At the same time, Interpipe’s sales continued to decline as external market conditions have already begun to show the first signs of cooling. In particular, the sales of OCTG-pipes (oil and gas variety – IF-U) decreased by 37% and line pipes – by 12%. The fall in the railway division is also continuing and the company is trying to compensate for it by increasing sales to the promising markets of North and South America, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
The decline in operating performance, in turn, led to a decrease in financial results. Specifically, its sales revenues decreased by 4% to $229 mn, while EBITDA went up 5.2 times to $79 mn, which significantly improved its net leverage to 0.7x.
Andriy Korotkov, Interpipe’s CEO, states that since the middle of the quarter the company’s plants have returned to work steadily, without any “broken” schedules. This made it possible to increase production at the end of the quarter and in some segments, for example, in the pipe division, to get somewhat closer to the pre-war level.
“Even under difficult military conditions, Interpipe continues to fulfill all orders and delivers products to customers quickly and on time. Significant support is provided by the extension of the cancellation of all quotas and duties on Ukrainian goods by the US and the EU,” says the top manager, who is quoted by the press service.
As earlier reported, Interpipe posted net profits of $204.441 million in 2022, which is 2.2 times more than in the previous year ($91.316 million). Last year’s pre-tax profit was $220.579 million compared to $110.907 million in 2021. The revenue in 2022 decreased by 13.4% to $981.330 million from $1 billion 132.9 million a year earlier. At the same time, Interpipe has increased its free cash flow from $109.627 mln to $153.777 mln during the year.
“Due to the war, in 2022, Interpipe reduced EBITDA by 11% compared to the previous year – up to $204 million. Steel output in 2022 decreased 39% to 595 thousand tons, pipes – by 36% to 393 thousand tons, railway products – by 51% to 84 thousand tons.
Sales of products in the reporting period decreased by 37%, to 524 thousand tons, including pipes – by 36%, to 384 thousand tons, railway products – by 50%, to 87 thousand tons. Its sales revenues decreased by 13% to $981 mln, while net leverage remained at a strong and stable level of 1.1x.
“Interpipe is a Ukrainian industrial company producing seamless pipes and railroad wheels. The company supplies its products to more than 80 countries all over the world through a network of sales offices located in the key markets of the Middle East, North America and Europe. In 2022, the company sold 384 thnd mt of tubes and 87 thnd mt of railroad products. The company sells its railroad products under the KLW brand.
Interpipe has 10 000 employees. In 2022 the company transferred 2.8 billion hryvnias to the budgets of all levels.
The company has five industrial assets: “Interpipe Nizhnedniprovsk Tube Rolling Plant (NTZ)”, “Interpipe Novomoskovsk Tube Plant (NMTZ)”, “Interpipe Niko-Tube”, “Dnepropetrovsk Vtormet” and the electric steelmaking complex “Dneprostal” under the “Interpipe Steel” brand.
The ultimate owner of Interpipe Limited is Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk and his family members.