Q3, 2012 Trading Statement INEOS GROUP HOLDINGS S.A.
INEOS Group Holdings S.A. (‘IGH’ or ‘INEOS’) announces its trading performance for the third quarter of 2012.
Based on unaudited management information INEOS reports that EBITDA for the third quarter of 2012 was €432 million, compared to €371 million for Q3, 2011 and €308 million for Q2, 2012. Comparative information excludes the results of the Refining business, which was disposed of in July 2011.
Petrochemical markets have continued to be subdued with industry sentiment remaining cautious, particularly in Europe and Asia. In contrast, business in North America has been strong with the benefit of its current feedstock advantage.
Chemical Intermediates reported EBITDA of €177 million compared to €165 million in Q3, 2011. Demand for chemical intermediates has been mixed in the quarter. Product prices have adjusted in line with increased raw material costs, but volumes have remained subdued. Margins in the Phenol business have been supported by good acetone prices, although this has been partially offset by lower volumes. The Oligomers business has continued to experience steady demand and solid margins in all sectors. Volumes and margins for the Nitriles business were weak, with subdued demand for both acrylic fibre and ABS, especially in Asia. The Oxide business had a moderate performance for the quarter with volatile feedstock prices impacting margins.
O&P North America reported EBITDA of €202 million compared to €126 million in Q3, 2011. The business has continued to benefit from its ability to optimise the use of cheaper gas feedstock to maintain healthy margins. The US cracker business environment continued to be strong with top of cycle margins and high operating rates throughout the quarter. Overall polymer demand was also strong with derivative exports remaining high as gas crackers continued to benefit from a significant global cost advantage. Domestic polymer demand continued to be relatively subdued though.
O&P Europe reported EBITDA of €53 million compared to €80 million in Q3, 2011. Demand for olefins in the quarter reflected the softening macro-economic environment. Cracker operating rates remained constrained to maintain market balance and margins were moderate. Polymer market sentiment remained weak with reduced levels of discretionary demand. The softness in the polymer markets has also resulted in low margins in the quarter.
The Group has continued to focus on cash management and liquidity. Net debt was approximately €6.3 billion at the end of September 2012. Cash balances at the end of the quarter were €1,219 million, and availability under undrawn working capital facilities was €258 million. Net debt leverage was approximately 4.5 times as at the end of September 2012.