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ASTARTA published interim report for the first three months of 2019

21.05.2019 11:30 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Key highlights:

For the first quarter of 2019 consolidated revenues of the Group grew by 28% to EUR 116 million y-o-y on back of solid performance by the agriculture and the soybean processing segments. With improved prices on grains and higher volume sales of corn the agricultural segment became the main contributor to the consolidated revenues (i.e. EUR 62 million, 2.4x higher y-o-y). As local and international sugar markets remained suppressed, the Company reduced volumes of sugar sales by 42% to 54 thousand tons, keeping higher inventories for the future periods. The Groups EBITDA was up by 2% y-o-y to EUR 14 million, ash flow from operating activities grew by 87% y-o-y to EUR 40 million.

Agriculture

The segment was the biggest contributor to consolidated revenues with a 54% share. Revenues more than doubled to EUR 62 million on back of improved prices on key grain crops and higher volume sales of corn from the record harvest in 2018. Share of exports by volume was traditionally strong with 94% in the reporting period versus 83% in the same period last year. In the first quarter of 2019, ASTARTA was traditionally focused on the sowing campaign which had begun earlier due to favorable weather conditions and timely preparatory works. Several IT solutions were introduced to digitalize the farming process at all stages and to improve overall management and efficiency control over all farming subsidiaries.

Soybean processing

The soybean processing segment generated revenues of EUR 24 million (+15% y-o-y), being the second largest contributor to the Groups revenues. The sales volumes of soybean oil increased by 13% y-o-y to 14 thousand tons and soybean meal by 11% y-o-y to 47 thousand tons respectively. Price of soybean oil was down 9% y-o-y to EUR 555 per ton as the market grappled with plentiful supply of oils globally, while meal price increased by 10% to EUR 331 per ton.

Sugar

Lower volume sales and prices resulted in decline of the segment revenues by 44% y-o-y to EUR 20 million in the reporting period. After two years of excessive sugar production in Ukraine the local sugar prices remained suppressed hitting the overall profitability of the industry. Following the increase of global sugar inventories international sugar prices in the first quarter of 2019 were also confined in low levels. In line with domestic trend ASTARTA responded to adverse market conditions by reducing sowing area under sugar beet by 12% y-o-y to 36 thousand hectares.

Dairy Farming

Revenues of the dairy segment increased by 16% y-o-y to EUR 9 million on growth of the selling price by 24% y-o-y to EUR 303 per ton due to rebalancing in the client portfolio and improved quality of milk.

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