Q4, 2017 Trading Statement
INEOS Group Holdings S.A. (‘IGH’ or ‘INEOS’) announces its trading performance for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Based on unaudited management information INEOS reports that EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2017 was €562 million, compared to €559 million for Q4, 2016 and €577 million for Q3, 2017. Full year EBITDA was a record performance of €2,529 million compared to €2,331 million for 2016.
North American markets were solid, taking full benefit from their current feedstock advantage. Market conditions in Europe have remained strong, supported by the continued weakness of the Euro and healthy underlying demand. In addition, markets in Asia have been more robust in the quarter.
O&P North America reported EBITDA of €168 million compared to €222 million in Q4, 2016. Full year 2017 EBITDA was €896 million compared to €956 million for 2016. The business has continued to benefit from its flexibility to be able to utilise cheaper NGL feedstocks to maintain healthy margins. The US cracker business environment was solid with healthy margins and good operating rates throughout the quarter. Polymer demand was strong, with tight markets and high margins. The business was adversely impacted by the market disruption from Hurricane Harvey in the first part of the fourth quarter of 2017.
O&P Europe reported EBITDA of €188 million compared to €150 million in Q4, 2016. Full year 2017 EBITDA was €814 million compared to €709 million for 2016. Demand for olefins in the quarter was solid in a balanced market with healthy margins, partially offset by some comparative weakness in butadiene. European polymer demand was good in a tight market, particularly for polypropylene, with solid volumes and high margins in the quarter. A scheduled major turnaround of one of the Koln crackers had an impact on the results for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Chemical Intermediates reported EBITDA of €206 million compared to €187 million in Q4, 2016. Full year 2017 EBITDA was €819 million compared to €666 million for 2016. All of the businesses performed well in the quarter, with good demand across most product lines. The overall demand trend in the Oligomers business was strong in all product sectors and markets, most notably in the LAO and PAO segments, supported by a number of competitor outages. Demand for the Oxide business was strong, with very healthy margins in the quarter, particularly for glycols. The markets for the Nitriles business were also strong due to high underlying demand, particularly in Asia, together with some continued supply constraints. Demand for the Phenol business was stable, with some improvement in margins due to improved returns on acetone.
The Group has continued to focus on cash management and liquidity. Net debt was approximately €4.8 billion at the end of December 2017. Cash balances at the end of the quarter were €1,366 million, and availability under undrawn working capital facilities was €365 million. Net debt leverage was approximately 1.9 times as at the end of December 2017.