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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LARGEST UKRAINIAN OIL PRODUCER PAYS UAH 7.8 BLN OF ROYALTIES

PJSC Ukrnafta in 2018 paid UAH 7.8 billion of royalties to the budgets of all levels, the company’s press service has reported.
The press service said that UAH 389.3 million was paid to the local budgets, including UAH 165 million in Sumy region, UAH 87.4 million in Ivano-Frankivsk region and UAH 62.5 million in Poltava region.
As reported, Ukrnafta in 2018 increased extraction of oil and gas condensate by 5% or 0.069 million tonnes compared with 2017, to 1.448 million tonnes. Gas production in 2018 fell by 2.3% or 0.026 million cubic meters, to 1.082 billion cubic meters, and production of liquefied gas decreased 5.2% or 6,000 tonnes, to 110,000 tonnes.
Ukrnafta is the largest oil producer in the country. National joint-stock company Naftogaz Ukrainy owns 50% and one share of Ukrnafta, and a group of companies associated with former shareholders of PrivatBank – about 42% of the shares.

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FLEXIBLE PACKAGING MATERIAL PRODUCER UKRPLASTIC PLANS TO INCREASE SALES BY 10% IN 2018

Public joint-stock company Ukrplastic (Kyiv), the leading manufacturer of flexible plastic packaging for consumer goods in Eastern Europe, plans to increase sales by 10% in 2018, to UAH 2.233 billion. This is outlined in a company annual report for 2017. “In 2018, the development of the company will first aim at retaining financial stability, expanding the range of flexible packages and developing the new market segments,” the company said.
According to the report, in 2017, net revenue fell by 4.7%, to UAH 2.03 billion, and net profit grew by 6%, to UAH 137.26 million. Gross profit shrank by 29.8%, to UAH 346.03 million, and operating profit grew by 10%, to UAH 437.77 million.
Ukrplastic produces flexible packaging materials for the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and other industries. According to the report, in 2017, the release of packaging materials by trademarks amounted to: BIPAN – 1,340 tonnes, VIPAN – 589 tonnes, ALPAN -7,150 tonnes, SOLAN – 10,28o tonnes, and TWISPAN – 3,730 tonnes.
PJSC Ukrplastic represents the Immer Group in Ukraine.

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HEAVY TRUCK PRODUCER AVTOKRAZ HAS 15% FALL IN NET REVENUE

Private joint-stock company AvtoKrAZ (Kremenchuk, Poltava region), the sole Ukrainian manufacturer of heavy trucks, saw UAH 1.048 billion of net revenue in 2017 (UAH 1.232 billion in 2016).
According to a Tuesday press release of the company, AvtoKrAZ CEO Roman Cherniak presented the figure in his report at a general meeting of shareholders held on April 3.
According to the press release, the share of dropside trucks of total vehicles made by the company was 41%, the share of chassis for various special-purpose equipment was 38%, tractor trucks – 17%, dump trucks – 3% and short log trucks – 1%.
Some 81% of trucks were delivered to the Ukrainian market, and supplies to the civil sector of the domestic market tripled. 5% of trucks were exported to non-CIS countries and 14% to the CIS.
Cherniak said that AvtoKrAZ last year passed a first audit of the quality management system under the certificate received in November 2016 confirming compliance with ISO/TS 16949:2009.
Capital investment in 2017 totaled UAH 1.8 million. The funds were sent to buy equipment, tools, modernization and reconstruction of fixed assets. Some UAH 29 million was spent on minor repair and overhaul and some UAH 7.5 million on maintenance of a clinic, dormitories, catering rooms, the palace of culture and other facilities.
According to the report of the CFO, growth of expenses and not enough volumes of production, permanent growth of currency exchange rates, accrued interest for the use of loans contributed to the fact that AvtoKrAZ saw large losses in 2017.

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BEER PRODUCER OBOLON HAS UAH 288 MLN OF NET PROFIT IN 2017

Private joint-stock company Obolon (Kyiv), a large beer and soft drinks producer in Ukraine, saw UAH 288.78 million of net profit in 2017 compared with UAH 219.4 million of net loss a year ago. According to a company report on holding the general meeting of its shareholders scheduled for April 26, its assets last year grew by 7.5%, to UAH 5.737 billion.
Undistributed profit totaled some UAH 381.1 million at the end of 2017, which is 3.5-fold more than a year ago.
Noncurrent liabilities soared 4.9-fold last year, to UAH 2.058 billion, while current liabilities fell by 47.4%, to UAH 1.737 billion. Total bills receivable grew 1.8-fold, to UAH 1.246 billion.
Obolon Corporation produces beer, soft drinks, mineral water and snacks, and is the country’s largest exporter of beer.
The corporation consists of the main plant in Kyiv and nine companies in the regions. Its main brands are Obolon, Carling, Zlata Praha, Bitburger, Hike Premium, Zibert, Desant, Zhigulevskoye, Yachminny Kolos, Zhivchik and Prozora. The corporation also produces the low alcohol drinks Rio, Gin-Tonic, Cherry Whiskey, Rum Cola, Brandy Cola and Ciber.

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