EuroChem Group AG reported consolidated sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 of $1.3 billion. The fourth quarter’s 23% year-on-year increase carried the Group’s sales for the year ended 31 December 2017 to $4.87 billion, 11% ahead of the $4.38 billion achieved in 2016.
The growth in sales was driven principally by higher average market prices for the Group’s products combined with higher third-party trading volumes. Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) remained flat at $286 million, due to lower sales volumes, including from its fertilizer and mining divisions, as well as unfavourable exchange rate fluctuations. Consequently, fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) remained flat at $286 million. The final quarter brought the Group’s full-year EBITDA to $1.13 billion, in line with 2016.
Fourth-quarter fertilizer sales volumes were 3.37 million tonnes (MMT), while full-year volumes amounted to 13.47 MMT. The Group calibrated its production assets to increase complex and MAP output in light of the more challenging market conditions for urea, UAN and DAP. Sales volumes for the Group’s MAP and complex products increased by 382 thousand tonnes (KMT). The Group realised third-party fertilizer product sales of 3.79 MMT in 2017, compared to 3.39 MMT in 2016.
The Group’s own fertilizer production rose 2% year-on-year from 10.4 MMT to 10.6 MMT.
Sales volumes for mining products in the fourth quarter remained constant year-on-year at 1.54 MMT. Sales volumes for the full year declined 2% to 5.93 MMT from 6.03 MMT in 2016, as bottlenecks on eastbound rail freight slowed iron ore deliveries to China.
“Against a rebalanced, yet more demanding market backdrop our performance remained consistent,” said EuroChem Group CEO Dmitry Strezhnev. “ More importantly, we finished the year with several thousand tonnes of potash ore ready to be transformed into MOP – which will resonate beyond our product portfolio and change our company’s profile”.