Fibria ends first quarter with record EBITDA margin of 55%, its leverage ratio in U.S. dollar falling to 2.02 times and the second mill at its Três Lagoas unit reaching 90% of the learning curve
- Pulp production was 1.588 million tons in the first quarter of 2018, up 32% on the same period of 2017;
- Pulp sales volume grew 22% compared to the first quarter of last year, to 1.591 million tons;
- Adjusted EBITDA in the first three months of the year advanced 183% on the year-ago period, to R$1.824 billion;
- EBITDA margin reached a record-high 55% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 37% in the prior-year period;
- Net income in the period came to R$615 million, increasing 87% on the first quarter of 2017;
- The ratio of net debt to EBITDA in U.S. dollar stood at 2.02 times, down significantly from 3.79 times a year earlier;
- The learning curve of the second plant at the Três Lagoas Unit reached 90%, with pulp production in 1Q18 of 449,000 tons.
São Paulo, April 25, 2018 – Fibria, a Brazilian company that is the world’s leading producer of eucalyptus pulp from planted forests, produced 1.588 million tons of pulp in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 32% on the same period of 2017. Production growth was driven by the startup of the company’s second mill at its Três Lagoas Unit in Mato Grosso do Sul state, which reached 90% of the learning curve, with production of 449,000 tons of pulp in the first quarter of the year. The higher production offset the scheduled shutdowns in the period, as well as the lower production at the Aracruz Unit in Espírito Santo state, in accordance with the business planning.
From January to March this year, pulp sales amounted to 1.591 million tons, advancing 22% on the first three months of the prior year. Although the first quarter of the year is typically marked by weaker demand, this seasonality did not occur and the pulp market remained tight in the first quarter, with pulp and paper producers registering below-average inventories. Furthermore, the combination of unscheduled maintenance shutdowns and other schedule shutdowns led to a reduction in global hardwood pulp production to around 660,000 tons in the first quarter of the year. This scenario supported the implementation, as of February 1, of the first price increase announced by Fibria this year, of US$30/ton in Europe and North America and of US$20/ton in Asia.
“Production at our second mill in Três Lagoas continues to ramp up at a steady pace, well above the initial projections. This new pulp volume reaching the market has been absorbed by still-strong demand in all regions. Our outlook for the coming months remains positive,” said Fibria CEO Marcelo Castelli.
Supported by sales volume growth and a 42% increase in the average net pulp price in U.S. dollar, Fibria posted net revenue of R$3.693 billion in the first quarter, up 78% on the same period last year. In the first three months of the year, adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) amounted to R$1.824 billion, 183% higher than in the same period of 2017. EBITDA margin, excluding the sales of pulp from Klabin, stood at 55%, supporting the net income in the period of R$615 million, an increase of 87% on the first quarter of last year.
In the first quarter of 2018, Fibria registered a pulp production cash cost of R$708 per ton, down 6% from the year-ago period. The decrease is mainly explained by the startup of the second production line at the Três Lagoas Unit, which had positive impacts on wood costs, fixed costs and energy sales. Excluding the effects from the scheduled shutdowns in the first quarter, production cash cost was R$626 per ton, down 8% from the same period of 2017.
Fibria’s net debt stood at R$12.774 billion at end-March (equivalent to US$3.843 billion), up a slight 4% on a year earlier, reflecting the payments related to the Horizonte 2 Project and the debt prepayments made in the quarter. However, the net debt/EBITDA ratio fell to 2.02 times in U.S. dollar and to 2.08 times in Brazilian real. For comparison purposes, in the first quarter of last year, the ratio stood at 3.79 times in U.S. dollar and at 3.63 times in Brazilian real.
“Fibria continues to deleverage rapidly while maintaining a cash position of over R$6.1 billion. This deleveraging path, which began before the startup of the Horizonte 2 Project, and the expectation that it should remain on a downward as the new production line in Três Lagoas continues to ramp up, demonstrate the Company’s strong cash generation capacity,” said Fibria’s Chief Financial and Investor Relations Officer, Guilherme Cavalcanti.
In accordance with the Material Fact notice dated March 16, the controlling shareholders of Fibria – Votorantim S/A and Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social Participações S/A (BNDESPar) – entered into an agreement with Suzano Holding S/A and with the other controlling shareholders of Suzano Papel e Celulose S/A to combine the shareholdings of Fibria and Suzano through an ownership restructuring. Until the date of the transaction’s consummation, which is pending approval by the regulatory authorities, Fibria and Suzano will continue to operate independently.
The world leader in eucalyptus pulp production, Fibria strives to meet, in a sustainable manner, the growing global demand for products from planted forests. With annual pulp production capacity of 7.25 million tons, the company has industrial units in Aracruz (Espírito Santo), Jacareí (São Paulo) and Três Lagoas (Mato Grosso do Sul), as well as in Eunápolis (Bahia), where it operates Veracel in a joint venture with Stora Enso. Fibria has 1,092,000 hectares of forests, which include 656,000 hectares of planted forests, 374,000 hectares earmarked for environmental preservation and conservation, and 61,000 hectares destined for other uses. The pulp produced by Fibria is exported to more than 35 countries and is the raw material for educational, health, hygiene and cleaning products. Learn more at www.fibria.com.br
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