CASABLANCA, Morocco, September 23, 2016 – OCP S.A. (“OCP” or the “Company”), a global leader in the fertilizer industry, today reported results for the second quarter and first half ended June 30, 2016.
“Despite difficult market conditions, OCP remained solidly profitable in the 2016 first half, thanks to our sustainable competitive advantages. We maintained an industry leading EBITDA margin of 27% among phosphate producers, underscoring the Company’s low cost position and its commercial and operating flexibility. Additionally, OCP has been undertaking targeted investments to enhance production optimization and drive further cost efficiencies, which are effectively sustaining margins throughout this cyclical downturn. Furthermore, our investment program is increasing our structural flexibility, which enables us to tailor our product mix to changes in market conditions,” said Mr. Mostafa Terrab, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OCP.
“As anticipated, we achieved a modest sequential improvement in second quarter revenues, reflecting increased fertilizer sales to high-growth markets where OCP enjoys a leading position. Demand for phosphate based fertilizer remained positive in the period, but much of the consumption took the form of inventory draw-downs following widespread stockpiling in 2015. At the same time, the industry faced market oversupply conditions, mainly due to high levels of Chinese exports that caused prices to soften. Our profitability for the period benefited from competitive raw material sourcing and cost savings following the ramp up of our slurry pipeline.”
First half 2016 revenues of MAD 21,656 million (US$ 2.2 billion) reflected lower prices across all three product categories. In the first half of 2016, demand for phosphate based fertilizer remained healthy while supply was mainly impacted by high levels of carry-over from 2015. Imports were constrained as key consuming countries drew down large inventory positions amassed due to high levels of Chinese export in 2015. This led to a 30% decrease in market phosphate prices and resulted in lower year-over-year revenues.
Gross profit decreased to MAD 14,440 million (US$ 1.5 billion), compared with MAD 16,371 million (US$ 1.7 billion) a year earlier due to lower revenues, partially mitigated by reduced raw material costs.
First half 2016 EBITDA was MAD 5,916 million (US$ 606 million), compared to MAD 8,634 million (US$ 890 million) for the same period in 2015, as the impact of lower prices more than offset the benefits of reduced raw material costs. The continued ramp up of the slurry pipeline resulted in a 26% year-over-year increase in cost savings of MAD 436 million in the first half of 2016 compared with MAD 346 million for the year ago period.
First half 2016 operating profit was MAD 4,212 million (US$ 432 million), compared with MAD 6,975 million (US$ 719 million) in 2015.
Available cash (cash, cash equivalents) was MAD 10,041 million (US$ 1.02 billion) at June 30, 2016. Net financial debt was MAD 38,803 million (US$ 4.0 billion), and the Net Financial Debt/EBITDA ratio was 2.59 as of June 30, 2016.
Adjusted operating cash flow was MAD 4,157 million (US$ 426 million) in the first half of 2016. Capital expenditures totaled MAD 5,102 million (US$ 523 million) for the first half of 2016.
Second quarter revenues were MAD 11,279 million (US$ 1.2 billion), compared to MAD 12,983 million (US$ 1.3 billion) in the prior-year period, but on a sequential basis, revenues increased by 8%. The same factors that impacted first half revenues are reflected in second quarter results. During this second quarter, OCP was able to achieve higher fertilizer volumes through the expansion of new product sales to high growth markets, notably Latin America.
Gross profit declined to MAD 7,471 million (US$ 771 million) from MAD 8,990 million (US$ 919 million) in the second quarter of 2015.
EBITDA for the quarter was impacted by lower revenues, which more than offset a reduction in sulfur costs and external expenses. As a result, second quarter EBITDA amounted to MAD 3,023 million (US$ 312 million), compared to MAD 4,687 million (US$ 479 million) in the year-ago period. On a sequential basis however, the EBITDA margin remained broadly stable at 27% in the second quarter of 2016, compared with 28% in the first quarter of 2016.
Second quarter operating profit was MAD 1,763 million (US$ 183 million) from MAD 3,722 million (US$ 380 million) in the Q2 2015.
The long-term investment program initiated by OCP in 2008 proceeded according to plan and the main achievements for the first half of 2016 are:
“The industry environment remains challenging, but we believe that the phosphate market is close to or at the bottom of the cycle and heading to a gradual recovery in 2017. Consumption should benefit from higher crop yields in key regions and strengthening demand is also expected in response to lower Brazilian inventories. In terms of supply, high inventory levels in China could lead to expanded exports, impacting market prices. The factors that could surprise on the upside include stronger than expected Indian and Brazilian demand, together with limited exports from China.
“The long-term fundamentals remain compelling, as demand for food far exceeds supply. We are confident that growing global demand will absorb expanded capacity, but we have the flexibility to adjust capital spending and modulate production to maximize value. We have a profit-driven strategy and plan to leverage our competitive advantages to emerge even stronger as market conditions improve. As such, we expect to continue to maintain margins that are significantly ahead of the industry average.” noted Mr. Terrab.
OCP senior management will host a conference call at 9 a.m. EDT and 2 p.m. London/Morocco time on September 23, 2016, to discuss the financial results. Qualified institutional buyers, bondholders, securities analysts and market makers are invited to participate in the call. Conference call details are available at OCP’s Investor Relations portal on the Intralinks website. Eligible parties that have not already registered for access to the Intralinks portal may do so by contacting Mrs. Ghita Laraki, Investors Relations at Investors@ocpgroup.ma