Business news from Ukraine

KERNEL CUTS SUNFLOWER OIL SALES BY 2%

Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural groups, in the third quarter of FY2020 (started in July 2019) cut sunflower oil sales by 2% year-over-year, to 380,900 tonnes.
According to an operations update posted on the website of the company, the share of bottled oil of total sales in January-March 2020 was 10% (39,000 tonnes).
Oilseeds crushing in Q3 FY2020 grew by 4%, to 940,650 tonnes, running crushing plants at full capacity.
The holding said that grain exports from Ukraine in January-March 2020 grew by 41%, to 2.15 million, including 35% of grain produced by company’s farming division, and the remaining was originated from external suppliers.
Export terminal throughput volumes in Ukraine reached 1.9 million tonnes in the reporting period, up 66% year-over-year, on the back of strong grain export volumes from Ukraine and increased contribution from new TransGrainTerminal. Grain and oilseeds received in inland silos fell by 65%, to 124,540 tonnes.
Kernel cut sunflower sails by 12% year-over-year, to 1 million tonnes. Sunflower crushing grew by 115, to 2.52 million tonnes. The company is progressing on the guidance to process 3.3 million tonnes of sunflower seeds for the whole FY2020.
In 9M of FY2020 grain exports from Ukraine grew by 30%, to 6 million tonnes.
According to the document, export terminal throughput volumes in Ukraine in 9M of FY2020 grew by 41%, to 4.82 million tonnes. Grain and oilseeds received in inland silos fell by 2%, to 4.12 million tonnes.

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KERNEL SIGNS FIRST NON-DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT IN UKRAINIAN MARKET

One of Ukrainian banks and the large Ukrainian agricultural holding Kernel signed a first non-deliverable forward (NDF) contract in the history of Ukraine last week, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has said.
“This is the first transaction to hedge currency risks of this type in the Ukrainian market. Earlier, deliverable forward contracts were also concluded in the market, but their share is still insignificant and has great potential for growth,” the regulator said in a statement last week.
NBU Deputy Governor Oleh Churiy said that in the world on the foreign exchange market spot transactions, that is, those that are actually settled on the same day, make up no more than a third of the total foreign exchange market.
“The rest are transactions using hedging instruments: forwards, futures, swaps. Unfortunately, in Ukraine it is the opposite: spot transactions dominate, and cases of hedging currency risks by the business are still isolated,” Churiy said.
According to him, with a floating exchange rate, business owners and financial directors should pay attention to hedging tools that are already available in Ukraine. These are, in particular, deliverable and non-deliverable forward contracts, which can be concluded with banks for export-import operations or loans from nonresidents.
“For four years now, Ukraine has been living in a flexible exchange rate environment that avoids the accumulation of imbalances in the economy, but also requires prudent planning for the business,” the NBU deputy governor said.

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LARGE UKRAINIAN AGRICULTURAL HOLDING KERNEL POSTS 24% FALL IN NET PROFIT

Kernel, a large Ukrainian agricultural holding, saw $59.61 million in net profit in the first quarter of FY2020 (July 2019 – June 2020), which is 24% less than in the first quarter of FY2019 over the IFRS 16 impact.
According to a report of Kernel Holding S.A. (Luxembourg) on Wednesday, revenue reduced 26% year-over-year to $845.84 million, stemming from lower trading volumes.
However, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) added 6% year-over-year to $106.5 million driven by Oilseed Processing segment EBITDA small growth.
In particular, Oilseed Processing segment EBITDA reached $22 million (up 38% year-over-year). Infrastructure and Trading segment generated $35 million EBITDA, 8% decline year-over-year. Unallocated corporate expenses in the reporting period amounted to $9 million, up 40% year-over-year.
The company said that the general outlook for the segment’s performance in FY2020 remains positive. Kernel expects Infrastructure and Trading business to be the largest contributor to group’s EBITDA in FY2020 owing to: commissioning of new grain export terminal scheduled for January 2020; growing grain export volumes; and strong contribution of grain railcars business.
Kernel said that at the date of this report, we completed this year harvesting campaign on 513,000 hectares, reaching record ever net yields for wheat (5.9 tonnes per hectare, up 16% year-over-year) and sunflower (3.5 tonnes per hectare, up 11% year-over-year), while facing normalization of corn yields to 8.6 tonnes per hectare (down 13% year-over-year).
“For the whole FY2020, we expect over $100 million farming EBITDA (net of IAS 41 and IFRS 16 effects), weakened by corn yield decline, lower year-over-year grain prices and growing production costs enhanced by local currency appreciation,” the group said.
Kernel’s gross profit in Q1 FY2020 fell by 9.9%, to $85.85 million, and operating profit – by 0.5%, to $82.09 million.
Net debt as of September 30, 2019 reached $1.144 billion, up 65% from June 30, 2019 level, reflecting short-term borrowings increase to finance working capital needs at the beginning of the season as well as $307 million new lease liabilities added to the balance sheet after implementation of IFRS 16.
Readily marketable inventories (RMI) increased by $275 million over Q1 FY2020, to $568 million, driven by procurement of grain and sunflower seeds.
Consequently, net debt adjusted for RMI increased to $576 million on September 30, 2019 from $400 million on June 30, 2019, with growth solely arising from IFRS 16 introduction. As a result, Kernel leverage as of September 30, 2019 increased to 3.3x Net-debt-to-EBITDA and 3.7x EBITDA-to-interest (post IFRS 16).

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KERNEL ANNOUNCES PLACEMENT OF $300 MLN EUROBONDS

Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural groups, has issued $300 million aggregate principal amount of 6.5% notes (eurobonds) due October 17, 2024.
Kernel said on the website of the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), the issue price was 99.475%.
The notes are rated BB- by Fitch, and B by S&P, two notches above and in line with Ukrainian sovereign respectively.
In January 2017, Kernel placed eurobonds worth $500 million. The maturity date of Kernel’s debut eurobonds was January 31, 2022, and the coupon rate was set at 8.75% per annum.
Kernel is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, the leading producer and supplier of agricultural products from the Black Sea region to world markets.

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FITCH RATINGS ASSIGNS KERNEL’S $300 MLN EUROBOND RATING

Fitch Ratings has assigned Kernel Holding S.A.’s new $300 million bond due in 2024 a final senior unsecured rating of ‘BB-‘ with a Recovery Rating of ‘RR4’ (50%).
Fitch said in a report on Thursday that the final rating is in line with the expected rating that Fitch assigned to this bond issue on 30 September 2019 and follows the pricing and receipt of the final documentation, which conform to the information already received.
Fitch said that the new $300 million bond’s ‘BB-‘/’RR4’ rating is aligned with the rating on the outstanding $500 million bond due 2022.
As reported, Kernel last week placed five-year $300 million bonds at 6.5% per annum. The pricing was set at 6.625%, the securities were sold at a price of 99.475% of the face value. The organizers of the placement were ING Bank, JP Morgan.
In January 2017, Kernel placed eurobonds worth $500 million. The maturity date of Kernel’s debut eurobonds was January 31, 2022, and the coupon rate was set at 8.75% per annum.
Kernel is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, the leading producer and supplier of agricultural products from the Black Sea region to world markets.

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UKRAINIAN KERNEL PLACES $300 MLN EUROBONDS

Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural groups, has placed $300 million eurobonds with a coupon rate of 6.5% and maturity in 2024, one of the market participants has told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, the pricing was set at 6.625%, the securities were sold at a price of 99.475% of the face value.
The organizers of the placement were ING Bank, JP Morgan.
The company did not comment on this information to the agency, saying that the details were planned to be released on October 17.
As reported, in January 2017 Kernel placed eurobonds worth $500 million. The maturity date of Kernel’s debut eurobonds was January 31, 2022, and the coupon rate was set at 8.75% per annum.
Kernel is the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, the leading producer and supplier of agricultural products from the Black Sea region to world markets.

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