KYIV. March 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Iron ore pellets producer Ferrexpo with key assets in Ukraine saw a six-fold rise in net profit in 2016, to $189.2 million.
According to a company report on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), its revenue last year grew by 2.6%, to $986.33 million.
Ferrexpo saw a 14% rise in gross profit, to $585.99 million, a 27.6% rise in operating profit, to $320.46 million and a 20% rise in earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), to $375 million.
The company said that net debt narrowed by 32%, to $589 million and the cash balance grew by over four times, to $145 million.
Capital investment last year dropped by 25%, to $48 million.
Pellet production in 2016 fell by 4%, to 11.2 million tonnes, while sales grew by 3%, to 11.697 million tonnes.
KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian transporters, apart from those in Crimea and Sevastopol and the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone, increased cargo transportation by 13% in January and February 2017 year-over-year, to 98 million tonnes, according to the State Statistics Service.
The service said cargo turnover increased by 16.6% year-over-year, to 54.1 billion tonne-kilometers.
According to the service, cargo transportation by rail in January and February 2017 increased by 9%, reaching 53.8 million tonnes.
Scrap ferrous metals shipments increased by 17.7%, construction materials by 60.7%, oil and fuel by 53.6%, grain and cereals by 43%. Timber shipments fell by 43.8%, coke by 17.8%, cement by 12.9%, chemicals and fertilizers by 12.2%, ferrous metals by 6.6%, coal by 5.9% and iron and manganese ore by 3.5%.
The share of foreign voyages of total transportation by sea and river transport was 97.1%, which is 30.6% down year-over-year.
In January and February 2017 Ukraine’s main pipelines transported more gas, oil and ammonia. Gas pumping grew by 19.5% and oil transshipment fell by 2.2%. Transit of gas increased by 31.4% and oil transit fell by 1.7% by 13.5%. Ammonia pumping fell by 71.4% and ammonia transit – by 71.4%.
Aviation companies transported 10,000 tonnes of cargo, which is 15% down year-over-year.
MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Louis Dreyfus Company, an agricultural trading company, has received a $100 million revolving facility from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for regional expansion, the EBRD said in a report.
The funds will be sent to finance part of the working capital needs of Louis Dreyfus Company Group’s subsidiaries active in eight countries: Bulgaria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey and Ukraine. In Russia the EBRD has not been implementing new projects for almost three years.
Louis Dreyfus Company, founded in 1851, is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods in the world. It accounts for 10% of international trade in goods.
KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine has the real potential to become a laboratory of new technologies, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Grigorishin has said.
“Ukraine has human resources, especially in engineering, needed to develop infrastructure wisely and to make use of technological advantages from more developed countries,” he said in an interview with U.S. publication Clean Energy posted on Tuesday.
The government should create programs to eliminate the existing GDP gap and to achieve economic growth of 6-8% annually during the next 20 years.
“If it does not do this, the country will not survive,” he said.
Grigorishin said that the country needs a new Marshall Plan. Today the amount could be worth $200 billion.
“This is not such a big sum for many countries. If Ukraine is given technologies and a market, we can achieve the growth rate I have mentioned,” he said.
Commenting of advantages of Ukraine, the businessman named “an educated and qualified population that can work for the space industry, for example, a good climate and good logistics.”
“Ukraine is a unique destination for infrastructure investments, with acceptable risks and high returns. Ukraine’s infrastructure is worn out, but this it is an excellent opportunity for Ukraine to build everything from scratch,” he said.
The businessman said that there is potential in new kinds of transportation, probably in the artificial intelligence realm as well as new kinds of chemical and food production, renewable electricity, energy storehouses (this will be a big new industry in the near future).
Commenting on reforms in the energy sector, he said that Ukraine should forget about coal and outdated plans for centralized heating.
“Instead, we believe green renewable energy is the future,” he said.
The best temporary solution for Ukraine during the transition is to have a “green phase” – new, combined-cycle natural gas power plants.
“If we enter into a partnership with the West, we will be able to create technologies for the new generation. We can also establish services and new investment in gas and oil production right here, localized in Ukraine. We need credit resources and the settling of the situation in Crimea and Donbas. And we need corporate partners and a long-term strategy with corporations at the level of General Electric, UTC and Boeing,” he said.
“It is silly to take seriously the economic nonsense that Ukraine is to become an agricultural superpower. Are we living in the 17th century? What is “an agricultural superpower”? Do we have to live in small villages and be farmers? Is it our future? Taking into account the fact that value-added in agriculture is low, it is impossible to become a superpower on the basis of agriculture,” he said.
Commenting on relations with Russia, Grigorishin said that Crimea will fade as a problem when Ukraine proves that its economic and social model is preferable.
He said that it does not mean that Ukraine should solve this problem via a military operation.
“Ukraine has many other tools: sanctions, political pressure to name a few. Ukraine needs this time to offer citizens of the Crimea persuasive arguments. It is not enough simply to say, “You must be Ukrainians and speak Ukrainian.” Ukraine must strive to become an attractive state that all people are willing to join,” he said.
KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The State Automobile Roads Agency of Ukraine, also known as Ukravtodor, and China road and bridge corporation (CRBC) on March 21 signed a memorandum of cooperation in the sphere of designing and financing construction of M-22/E-584 Poltava-Oleksandria road on the section bypassing Kremenchuk with a bridge across the Dnipro River.
The press service of Ukravtodor said that Ukravtodor Head Slawomir Nowak and CRBC Vice President Du Fei signed the memo.
“Today the only bridge across the Dnipro River has only two moving traffic lanes. The bridge was opened in 1949. Its pillars were built in 1872. Along with city traffic, two important national roads go across the bridge: H-08 Boryspil-Kremenchuk-Dnipro-Zaporizhia-Mariupol roads and M-22 Poltava-Oleksandria road, which is part of the European corridor E-584 Poltava-Chisinau-Slobozia (Romania) and part of Pan-European transport corridor,” the agency said.
Nowak said that Kremenchuk is an important industrial center of the country, which annually generates around 4% of revenue of Ukraine’s national budget, while traffic across the Dnipro River is not comfortable, as the only bridge is located in the center of the city.
“The construction of the bridge in suburbs would help to redirect the transit traffic outside the city, which would unload the streets, make trips safer and improve the environmental situation. The new bridge would ensure not only the high-quality connection across the Dnipro River, but would promote for the increase of investment attractiveness of the Dnirpo basin region and create new jobs,” Nowak said.
KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – State-run enterprise Forestry Innovative-Analytical Center and Latschbacher Ukraine LLC plans to design software for controlling the lawfulness of timber production and its movement by the police by the middle of May.
According to a press release of Latschbacher Ukraine, on March 10 the company and the Forestry Innovative-Analytical Center signed an agreement on the further development of the timber e-system.
“The Control module will be created for the National Police of Ukraine. This application would help the police to effectively control the lawfulness of timber production and its movement,” the company said.
It will take around two months to introduce the module.
“When the module is introduced, the National Police would finally receive the efficient tool for controlling timber. All that is left to do is to connect the rest of forestry enterprises [under management of the Defense Ministry, Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry and local authorities] to the timber e-system,” the company said.
The timber e-system was designed from 2009 through 2012 on the basis of Austria’s WinforstPro software. Specialists of Latschbacher AG (Austria), Timber&EquipmentGmbH (Germany) and Latschbacher Ukraine adapted the logistics innovation technologies to the specific of Ukrainian enterprises. In 2013, the system was introduced in 192 forestry enterprises coordinated by the State Forest Agency of Ukraine. Today 273 forestry enterprises are using the system or 80% of the total number of permanent forest users in Ukraine.