Q1, 2013 Trading Statement. INEOS Group Holdings S.A.
INEOS Group Holdings S.A. announces its trading performance for the first quarter of 2013.
Based on unaudited management information INEOS reports that EBITDA for the first quarter of 2013 was €415 million, compared to €465 million for Q1, 2012 and €311 million for Q4, 2012.
The results for the first quarter have been adversely impacted in our O&P Europe and Chemical Intermediates businesses by the fire on a compressor at the cracker in Lavera in December 2012. The cracker was shut down for most of the first quarter as a result of this incident and only resumed partial operations in March 2013. The closure has impacted the results by €48 million in the quarter. It is currently expected that the cracker will return to full operations early in the third quarter.
North American markets have continued to show a firmer demand trend than Europe and Asia in the quarter, taking full benefit from their current feedstock advantage. Industry sentiment remained cautious in Europe and Asia with economic and political uncertainties impacting demand in a number of sectors.
O&P North America reported EBITDA of €248 million compared to €175 million in Q1, 2012. The business has continued to benefit from its flexibility to be able to utilise cheaper NGL feedstocks to maintain healthy margins, resulting in another record quarterly performance. The US cracker business environment was strong with top of cycle margins and high operating rates throughout the quarter. Polymer demand also improved during the quarter, supported by an improving US economy.
Chemical Intermediates reported EBITDA of €145 million compared to €233 million in Q1, 2012. Chemical Intermediates experienced a mixed performance in the quarter compared to a very strong quarter in the prior year. The Oxide business had a stable performance for the quarter with solid EO and solvent demand in Europe in particular. Weak derivative demand for the Phenol business resulted in both lower volumes and margins compared to a record quarterly performance last year. The overall demand trend in the Oligomers business was mixed, with continued strength in North America offset by weakness in Europe and Asia. Volumes and margins for the Nitriles business were weak, with moderate demand for acrylic fibre and ABS. The shutdown of the cracker in Lavera during the quarter adversely impacted the results of the Oxide and Oligomers businesses by €13 million.
O&P Europe reported EBITDA of €22 million compared to €57 million in Q1, 2012. Demand for olefins in the quarter was moderate, with reduced operating rates to maintain market balance. Butadiene and aromatics continued to perform well. Margins have improved compared to the end of 2012, supported by lower naphtha prices, although North Sea gas supplies remained unreliable. Polymer demand was soft with low margins in the quarter. The shutdown of the cracker in Lavera during the quarter adversely impacted the results by €35 million.
The Group has continued to focus on cash management and liquidity. Net debt was approximately €6.5 billion at the end of March 2013. Cash balances at the end of the quarter were €1,034 million, and availability under undrawn working capital facilities was €290 million. Pro forma for the impact of the Lavera outage, net debt leverage was approximately 4.3 times as at the end of March 2013.