Q1, 2015 Trading Statement
INEOS Group Holdings SA April 20th 2015
INEOS Group Holdings S.A. (‘IGH’ or ‘INEOS’) announces its trading performance for the first quarter of 2015.
Based on unaudited management information INEOS reports that EBITDA for the first quarter of 2015 was €503 million, compared to €401 million for Q1, 2014 and €520 million for Q4, 2014.
North American markets have continued to be strong, taking full benefit from their current feedstock advantage. Market conditions in Europe have improved, supported by the impact of the depreciation of the Euro in the quarter. In contrast, markets in Asia have generally remained subdued.
O&P North America reported EBITDA of €269 million compared to €196 million in Q1, 2014. The business has continued to benefit from its flexibility to be able to utilise cheaper NGL feedstocks to maintain healthy margins. Both ethane and propane have continued to be advantaged feedstocks. The US cracker business environment was strong with top of cycle margins and high operating rates throughout the quarter. A number of unplanned competitor plant outages added to market tightness in the quarter. Polymer demand was very robust, with tight markets and high margins. A number of short unscheduled outages on the olefins units in Chocolate Bayou during Q1, 2014 adversely impacted the results for that quarter.
Chemical Intermediates reported EBITDA of €163 million compared to €151 million in Q1, 2014. Chemical Intermediates experienced a mixed performance in the quarter. Core market demand in North America and Europe remained good for most of the businesses. The overall demand trend in the Oligomers business was strong in most sectors, with robust demand in the polymer co-monomer segment in North America. The Oxide business increased volumes and margins with steady demand and unplanned competitor outages tightening supply. Demand for the Phenol business was reasonable, with a tight market supported by a number of scheduled and unscheduled competitor outages. The market for the Nitriles business was largely balanced, supported by good demand from the automotive, retail and construction sectors.
O&P Europe reported EBITDA of €71 million compared to €54 million in Q1, 2014. Demand for olefins in the quarter was solid, with industry available cracker operating rates now at higher levels. Margins were improved in the quarter, with a strong ethylene / propylene performance partially offset by weaker butadiene and aromatics margins. European polymer demand was firm with solid volumes and stable margins in the quarter. The depreciation of the Euro in the quarter has aided European markets by limiting imports and supporting increased exports. The Group disposed of the O&P South business on July 1, 2014.
In March 2015 the Group issued €1.4 billion of new Senior Secured Term Loans to fund the redemption of €500 million and $1.0 billion of Senior Secured Notes due 2019. The refinancing should result in annual interest savings of approximately €50 million.
The Group has continued to focus on cash management and liquidity. Net debt was approximately €6.7 billion at the end of March 2015. US dollar denominated debt was impacted by the appreciation of the dollar against the Euro in the quarter. Cash balances at the end of the quarter were €1,661 million, and availability under undrawn working capital facilities was €160 million. Net debt leverage was approximately 3.3 times as at the end of March 2015.