Business news from Ukraine

LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER IN UKRAINE ASTARTA CUTS SUGAR SALES BY 42% IN Q1 2019

Astarta agricultural holding, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, in January-March 2019 saw a fall in sugar sales by 42% year-over-year, to 53,960 tonnes, the company has reported on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) on Wednesday.
According to the press release, the sales of wheat for the period fell 78.7%, to 10,750 tonnes, sunflower by 42%, to 11,830 tonnes, and milk by 7%, to 26,020 tonnes.
At the same time, sales of corn increased 3.3-fold, to 304,210 tonnes, barley – from 9 tonnes to 2,410 tonnes, soybean oil – by 13%, to 14,220 tonnes, and soybean meal – by 11%, to 46,870 tonnes.
The company said that at the same time, the average sugar prices for this period decreased 15%, sunflower 10%, soybean oil 16%, while wheat grew by 20%, corn by 23%, barley by 1.8 times, soybean meal by 1%, and milk by 15%.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agricultural holding operating in five regions of Ukraine.

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BIGGEST UKRAINIAN SUGAR PRODUCER ASTARTA GETS EUR 21.1 MLN NET LOSS IN 2018

After three years of lucrative work, Astarta agricultural and industrial holding saw EUR 21.11 million in net loss in 2018 due to worsening of financial indicators and poor conditions on both sugar and grain markets. According to the company’s yearly report posted in the website of the Warsaw Stock Exchange on April 8, last year its earnings reduced by 18.8%, to EUR 372.22 million, EBITDA dropped by 52.4%, to EUR 56.87 million, and export declined by 3 percentage points, to 56%.
In addition, Astarta’s net debt increased by 2.3 times, to EUR 295.45 million, in 2018.
“We are well prepared for 2019 and showing cautious optimism. The company has revised its investment program, adjusted its sales policy and improved its credit portfolio and spending patterns,” founder and Director General of Astarta Viktor Ivanchyk said in the report.
The company earned EUR 119 million in the sugar segment (32% from consolidated revenue) in 2018. Its sales are estimated at 325,000 tonnes (27% less than in 2017) while its prices dropped by 23%. The company explained drop in sales by weak pricing environment and increased costs value of products due to poor quality of the beet harvest in 2018. Export accounted for 40% from sales in 2018.
According to the report, Astarta estimated its share in sugar production of Ukraine at 21%.
The company earned EUR 127 million in the crop production segment (34% from consolidated revenue). Astarta constructed three grain elevators with a total capacity of 230,000 tonnes in 2018.
Astarta earned EUR 74 million in the soybean processing segment (20% from consolidated revenue), which is 2% more than in 2017. The company produced 42,000 tonnes of soybean oil and 141,000 tonnes of oil cake.
The company’s revenue in dairy farming dropped by 8%, to EUR 29 million, in 2018.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agribusiness holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, and Kharkiv regions. The holding includes eight sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of about 250,000 hectares and dairy farms.

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KOPERNIK GLOBAL INVESTORS INCREASES SHAREHOLDING IN ASTARTA TO 5%

Kopernik Global Investors LLC (the United States) on December 27, 2018 acquired 3,216 shares in the share capital of Astarta Holding NV (the Netherlands), the holding company of the Astarta agricultural and industrial holding, and crossed the 5% threshold of voting rights.
According to a report of Astarta on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), the holding received the notification on January 2, 2019.
After the deal Kopernik Global Investors holds 1.25 million shares in Astarta or 5% of its share capital.
According to the WSE, Astarta’s shares as of 10:40 Kyiv time on January 4, 2019 were listed at PLN 23.40 per share.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agribusiness holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, and Kharkiv regions. It consists of eight sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of about 250,000 hectares and dairy farms.

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ASTARTA HARVESTS 183,000 TONNES OF OILSEEDS

Astarta agroindustrial holding, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, in 2018 harvested 183,000 tonnes of oilseeds, which is 20% more than a year ago, the company’s press service has reported. “In particular, 67,000 tonnes of soybeans and 116,000 tonnes of sunflower were harvested with an average yield of 2.9 tonnes per ha (2017 – 2.2 tonnes per ha of soybeans and 2.3 tonnes per ha of sunflower, respectively),” the company said.
According to the press service, at present, Astarta continues harvesting corn: 65% of the area is threshed with an average yield of 9 tonnes per ha.
“In general, in the current season, the company expects for the first time to overcome the mark of 1 million tonnes of gross harvest of grain and oilseeds,” the agricultural holding said.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER IN UKRAINE ASTARTA HAS 20% FALL IN SALES

Astarta agroindustrial holding, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, cut sugar sales by 20% in July-September 2018 year-over-year, to 88,040 tonnes.
According to a company report on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) on Wednesday, wheat sales over the period grew by 18%, to 143,680 tonnes, sunflower – by 30%, to 1,250 tonnes, soybean meal – by 6%, to 29,190 tonnes, while maize sales fell by 56.5%, to 10,790 tonnes, barley – by 88.9%, to 640 tonnes, and soybean oil – by 54.6%, to 4,480 tonnes.
Milk sales shrank by 6%, reaching 24,270 tonnes.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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ASTARTA BUYS BACK 1,710 SHARES FROM AUG 27 THROUGH AUG 31

Astarta Holding N.V. (the Netherlands), the holding company of Astarta holding, in the period from August 27 through August 31, 2018 bought back 1,710 own shares. The average price was PLN 32.99 per share, according to a posting on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE).
According to the WSE, the Astarta’s shares on September 3, 2018 fell by 1.82%, to PLN 32.40 per share ($1 equals PLN 3.6991 using the exchange rate of the National Bank of Poland as of September 3). As reported, the Board of Directors of Astarta Holding N.V. appointed Poland’s brokerage house, Pekao Investment Banking S.A. a buyback agent to carry out the buyback of the company’s shares under the approved program. The buyback program was launched for the purpose of meeting obligations arising the debt financial instruments exchangeable for or convertible into equity instruments and employee share option programs.
On May 25, 2018, the shareholders in Astarta approved the decision to extend the buyback program for another 18 months (from the date of the holding of the general meeting of shareholders). The company could buy back up to 2.5 million shares (up to 10% of outstanding securities) at the price of no more than PLN 125 per share.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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