Business news from Ukraine

MILKILAND SEES 15.1% FALL IN NET LOSS

Milkiland, a dairy group with assets in Ukraine, Russia and Poland, saw EUR 11.39 million in net loss in January-September 2019, which is 15.1% more than a year ago.
According to a report of the group on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), consolidated revenue over the period slightly fell – by 2.3%, to EUR 96.57 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 85.3%, to EUR 0.66 million.
In the nine months of 2019 Milkiland decreased its overall sales volumes by c. 29% on the back of significantly lower sales of cheese and butter products, which profitability were undermined by “the costs-prices scissors,” when the prices for finished goods lag behind the growing cost of the raw materials, namely, raw milk prices both in Russia and Ukraine. The prices for raw milk in Ukraine and Russia in January-September 2019 were by 9% and by 7.5% higher on average on year-over-year basis, respectively.
“Those unfavourable trends were aggravated by the situation with the appreciation on UAH and RUR against EUR in the reporting period,” the company said.
Due to the “scissors” effect and the growing completion in the Russian dairy market, first of all, in the market of the City of Moscow, Ostankino decreased the sales volumes of the whole-milk products by c. 9%, which led to decline of profitability of its business on EBITDA level by 6 pp. to practically zero on year-over-year basis.
Milkiland Ukraine in January-September 2019 focused on the development of sales of high value-added products, including innovative lactose-free cheese and whole milk products, primarily in the key accounts channel. As the result, this subsidiary of Milkiland managed to preserve its EBITDA margin almost at the same level of c.3% as in in January-September 2018.
Milkiland EU over the period faced a significant deterioration of the traditional business of the production and selling of dry milk products (WPC, permeate) triggered by non-favorable situation with the prices for these products in the global market, as well as declining sales of the cheese-mix products at the domestic market of Poland. As the result, the company generated losses at EBITDA level, which also decreased the overall EBITDA result of the group.
Milkiland Intermarket increased the sales of the group’s dry milk products in China and Kosher goods sales in Israel. The share of these two countries in the total sales of Milkland Intermarket exceeded 60%. The sales volumes of the dry milk products and butter by this company increased by c. 25% in January-September 2019 on year-over-year basis.
At the same time, growing input costs in Ukraine and revaluation of the Ukrainian currency against EUR and USD during the reporting period led to the situation, when the EBITDA margin of this increased sales slid to the negative territory.

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LIFECELL MOBILE OPERATOR SEES NET LOSS RISE BY 82.3%

Lifecell mobile operator in July-September 2019 increased its net loss by 82.3% compared to the same period in 2018, to UAH 338.3 million, the company has said.
According to the interim report, the operator’s income in the third quarter increased by 11.8%, to UAH 1.529 billion, EBITDA by 32.9%, to UAH 810.5 million. At the same time, the EBITDA margin increased by 8.4 percentage points, to 53%.
The Lifecell active subscriber base for July-September 2019 decreased by 9.2% compared to the third quarter of 2018 and amounted to 6.9 million users, while the total base by 10.9%, to 9 million.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) of the active subscriber base increased by 26%, to UAH 74.7.
The operator’s capital investments for the specified period amounted to UAH 547.7 million, which is 34.4% less than for the same period in 2018.
Compared to the second quarter of this year, the active subscriber base in the third quarter rose by 100,000 people, revenue by 3.2%, EBITDA by 1.5%, net loss by 15.4%, and capital investments by 56.5%.

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DAIRY GROUP MILKILAND SEES 2.9-FOLD RISE IN NET LOSS

Milkiland, a dairy group with assets in Ukraine, Russia and Poland, saw net loss of EUR 7.28 million in January-June 2019, which is 2.9 times more than a year ago.
According to a report of the group on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), consolidated revenue in January-June 2019 slightly fell to EUR 65.88 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 85.3%, to EUR 0.53 million.
“This stable result was triggered by significantly higher top-line in Ukraine (+c.36% year-over-year) compensated by lower sales in Russia and Poland (c. 8.5% and c. 45% on year-over-year basis, respectively). Positive dynamics of the group’s sales in Ukraine in H1 2019 relied on the higher sales of butter, stable sales of whole-milk products partly offset by the declined sales of cheese,” the company said in the document.
Lower top-line in Russia was fully triggered by the decline of whole-milk products sales, while in Poland the group faced the drop of cheese and dry milk products sales both in volume and value terms due to shorten operations in this country.
As the result of the lower cheese sales in Ukraine and Poland the group’s overall sales in Cheese&Butter segment in the reporting period declined by 19% to EUR 19.7 million on year-over-year basis, the share of this segment revenues in the total revenues of the group slid from 37% in H1 2018 to 30% in H1 2019.
Whole-milk product segment still being the largest contributor to the Group’s revenues in H1 2019 (with the share of 48% vs 50% of the total revenues in H1 2018) demonstrated a 4% correction in value terms, caused mostly by the decline of the sales volumes in Russia by c. 10% in comparison with the same period of 2018.
The group said that better pricing at the global market of dry milk products contributed to noticeable growth of the revenues of Ingredients segment, which increased by c. 62% in the first half of 2019 in comparison with the same period of the last year on the back of almost two-fold increase of the sales volumes of these products. The share of the respective revenues of the segment in the total revenues of the group, consequently advanced from 14% in H1 2018 to 22% in the reporting period.
Operating loss over the period fell by 80.8%, to EUR 9.11 million. Gross profit decreased 24.2%, to EUR 8.57 million.
“Total liabilities increased by c.15% as of 30 June 2019 in comparison with 30 June 2018 mainly resulting from a c.21% growth in current liabilities in turn triggered by the noticeable increase of trade and other payables from c. EUR 49 million as of June 30, 2018 to c. EUR 80.4 million on the same date of the current year,” the company said.

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AVANGARD AGROHOLDING SEES $110.89 MLN IN NET LOSS

Avangard agricultural holding, the largest egg producer in Ukraine, in January-June 2019 saw $110.89 million in net loss, which is 3.1 times more than a year ago.
According to a company report posted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Friday, consolidated revenue grew by 24.6%, to $84.78 million, and gross loss – 14 times, to $65.1 million.
Export revenue for the reporting period increased 1.6 time, to $44.8 million, and its share amounted to 53% of the company’s consolidated revenue.
In the first half of the year, egg production amounted to 1.78 billion pieces, which is 44% more than in the same period in 2018, their sales grew 1.9 times, to 1.59 billion pieces, exports – 2.6 times, to 785 million pieces.
The average selling price of eggs was UAH 1.23 per piece, excluding VAT, which is 24% lower than the level of the first half of last year, in U.S. dollars – $0.046 per piece, excluding VAT (25% less).
The production of dry egg products during the reporting period amounted to 2,380 tonnes (34% less), their sales also decreased 34%, to 2,280 tonnes. Export of dry egg products amounted to 1,590 tonnes and decreased by 46%.
The average selling price of dried egg products was $3.84 per kg, an increase of 4% from January-June 2018.
As of June 30, the total number of birds was 16 million, which is 15% more compared to the same date last year. The number of laying hens amounted to 11.2 million (35% more).
According to the report, negotiations with creditors on restructuring are ongoing.
Net cash used in investing activities increased to $14.2 million from $1.2 million in the first half of 2018 as a result of an increase in investment. In general, the net cash outflow in the reporting period amounted to $20.9 million compared to a net cash inflow of $4.1 million as of June 30, 2018.
As of June 30, 2019, the total debt of the company increased slightly compared to December 31, 2018 and amounted to $391.5 million. Net debt increased 6.5%, to $390.9 million. Issue of the company’s eurobonds maturing on October 29, 2018 amounted to 60% of total debt.

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UKRAINIAN MOBILE OPERATOR LIFECELL SEES 41.8% RISE IN NET LOSS

The mobile communications operator lifecell in April-June 2019 saw a rise of 41.8% in net loss year-over-year, to UAH 293.2 million.
According to financial report posted on its official website, lifecell’s revenue grew by 16.1%, to UAH 1.48 billion.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 41.7%, to UAH 798.8 million. EBITDA margin grew by 9.7 percentage points, to 53.9%.
The increase is linked to growth in profit from consumption of mobile Internet that resulted of growing number of users of 4.5G network, the company said.
In the second quarter of 2018, the active subscriber base of the lifecell operator decreased by 12.8% on an annual basis, to 6.8 million subscribers.
Active three month ARPU (average revenue per user per month) increased by 27.3% by this period and amounted to UAH 53.1.
Capital investment in April-June totalled UAH 350 million that is 78.8% less year-over-year.
The penetration of smartphones in the operator’s network at the end of the second quarter was 73%.
Lifecell is the third largest mobile operator in Ukraine.

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DANISH COMPANY CLAIMS POSSIBLE LOSS OF $300,000 OVER LAND CONFLICT WITH UKRAINIAN GORODOK-AGRO

DFU Agro LLC (Hrozyne, Zhytomyr region, belongs to Danish Berry Farm) has claimed a possible loss of $100,000-300,000 if the company loses its harvest over the land conflict with Gorodok-Agro LLC (Malyn, Zhytomyr region), DFU Agro Director Vadym Shestakov said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday. According to him, the company since 2014 has been processing 1,200 hectares of land in Zhytomyr region on the basis of an agreement with the village councils on the management of the heritage. In November 2018, Gorodok-Agro rented several parcels of land, including 250 hectares, which remained in the use of DFU Agro (until 2018, this was impossible due to legislation). DFU Agro sowed this land with winter rape and rye before it was rented to Gorodok-Agro in August-September-2018. Now Gorodok-Agro claims to harvests from this area.

“We offered the company a similar area (250 hectares) of cultivated land, but they, using an ultimatum, suggested that we sell the rest of our land in these territories. In May 2019, we appealed to the anti-raider committee. In June, most of the committee members expressed the opinion that Gorodok-Agro has no right to harvest, but has the right to compensation,” the director of DFU Agro said.
He said that DFU Agro agrees with the compensation, but it has not yet been possible to agree on the terms of compensation.
“Our losses, if the opponent takes our harvest, will amount to $100,000-300,000. We are ready to harvest the crop and transfer it to a third party for safekeeping,” Shestakov said.
DFU Agro LLC is controlled by the Danish company Berry Farm, which is the owner of Dan-Farm Ukraine LLC (Khalcha, Kyiv region), one of the largest pig breeding enterprises in Ukraine. The charter capital of DFU Agro is UAH 63.7 million.

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